New Journey

Feb 29, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka will call fresh bids for a planned new container terminal in Colombo and is going ahead with a contract to build its breakwater, a senior port official said. The other major port operator which did not bid was Dubai Ports World, which is making huge investments in ports on the Indian sub-continent. A cabinet appointed negotiating committee that handled the planned new deep-draft port had recommended the cancellation of the original bids, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) chairman Saliya Wickramasuriya said.

This was because the committee could not make a clear recommendation without compromising either the request for proposals of the project or a government directive last month on “securing national interest” in major projects, he said.

A consortium led by Port of Singapore Authority (PSA Corp), in which the local Aitken Spence conglomerate has a majority stake, emerged the winner in the bidding round, with Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) of Hong Kong coming second, according to a ranking.

Local news reports said the cabinet committee was divided in its opinion on awarding the terminal contract to PSA Corp with Wickramasuriya maintaining that the