Jan 06, 2011 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) plans to start bunkering or ship fuel operations at a new port in southern Hambantota in May, its chairman Priyath Wickrama said. Bunkering is seen as a lucrative business given the heavy ship traffic around the island. A tank farm with a capacity of 80,000 metric tonnes is under construction at the port which was built with Chinese loans and contractors.
The tank farm should be ready by April 2011.
“We’re hoping to start bunkering by May this year,” Wickrama said, delivering the annual P B Karandwala Memorial Lecture organized by the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Sri Lanka to honour a key figure in ports and shipping in the island.
Wickrama spoke on strategies for port related logistics development following the development of new ports in southern Hambantota and Colombo Port.
“We’re going to buy four self-propelled barges to start this business,” Wickrama said.
The new Hambantota port was opened in November last year and is part of the island’s effort to become a transport hub, given its location close to the main East-West trade route across the Indian Ocean.