July 08, 2009 (LBO) – A consortium made up of Sri Lankan conglomerate Aitken Spence and China Merchant Holdings are the sole bidders to design and build a new container terminal in Colombo port, officials said. South Asia Gateway Terminals, which operates Colombo’s private container terminal, and China Harbour Engineering Company, which is building a port in the island’s south, also collected bid documents, as did Sri Lanka’s top three conglomerates John Keells Holdings, Hayleys, Aitken Spence and Hemas Holdings.
Asian Development Bank, which is funding the breakwater and dredging of the new port, and Standard Chartered Bank, were among the other parties that collected bid documents.
The government repeatedly extended the deadline for bids and relaxed some of the criteria in order to make the project more attractive to investors. “We are the only bidder, there is no competition,” a spokesperson for Aitken Spence said soon after bids closed Wednesday.
“Our technical qualifications will have to now be checked, which will take a few weeks.”
A Sri Lanka Ports Authority official said he believed there was only one bid for the project to build the first new terminal in a new port being built next