Aug 05, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared open a new container terminal Tuesday, making Colombo the only port in South Asia that can handle the Triple E class large container ships.
President Rajapaksa said building ports was part of his five hub strategy, after formally commissioning the loading of a CMA-CGM line vessel that could carry 11,000 containers (twenty foot equivalent units).
The 18-meter depth port can handle Triple-E class ships that carry up to 18,000 TEU.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrema said the basin could be deepened to 23 metres in the future to accommodate ships with a capacity of 25,000 TEUS.
The first 500 million US dollar terminal is built and owned by China Merchant International, a Hong Kong based Chinese state firm, which will have a capacity of 2.4 million TEUs when all three berths are completed.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority has already started building the first of three berths in the second East Terminal.
A 400 million dollar breakwater for the new port was built by the ports agency with 300 million US dollars for Asian Development Bank financing.
ADB vice president Xiaoyu Zhao said the new port