Lifting Boost

Aug 24, 2010 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka Ports Authority is to borrow 62.5 million US dollars from the state-owned Bank of Ceylon to fund the acquisition of new cargo handling cranes from China, a statement said. The SLPA statement said it will buy one crane of 50 tonne capacity, two cranes of 41 tonne capacity and 24 Rubber Tired Gantry cranes of 41 tonne capacity.

The equipment is urgently needed to replace aging cranes at the Jaya Container Terminal, th port’s main container transhipment facility, where cargo handling operations are slowed down and ships delayed owing to breakdowns.

The SLPA statement said it expects to boost its capacity at the JCT when the cranes, being made at the manufacturer ZPMC in China, arrive in the first quarter of next year.

It said it has struck a deal with the Bank of Ceylon to borrow the money considering the advantages of doing so in the local finance market on the instructions of the Treasury.

Sri Lanka’s central bank has also built up considerable foreign exchange reserves due to higher policy rates that the anchor US currency and sterilization of rupee liquidity generated from inflows.

This has put upward pressure on the exchange rate.