Southern Sail

Sri Lanka is in talks with Chine to fund a US$ 90 mn tank farm in Hambantota – the first phase of a proposed mega port development in the South of the island. Sri Lanka is in talks with Chine to fund a US$ 90 mn tank farm in Hambantota – the first phase of a proposed mega port development in the South of the island. The Chinese assistance will pay for ten tanks and four pipelines going out to sea, infrastructure Sri Lanka will use to set up a bunkering service for ships taking the Indian Ocean shipping lanes south of the island.

An agreement to pursue the project was signed in April, with Chinese engineering company China Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Corp. (HQCEC) brought in to carry out the eventual design and construction.

Ports and Aviation Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Thursday said the government expects construction to commence later in 2005.

Coming under the Sri Lanka Ports Authority the bunkering service could be given out to the private sector to operate.

Port officials said a decision on who will operate the bunkering service had not been made yet.

The bunkering service will be the precursor to implementing longstan