Port Prospects

Dec 22, 2009 (LBO) – A new port next to Colombo the Asian Development Bank is helping Sri Lanka to build should get enough cargo despite the expansion of India’s own ports, a senior bank official said. Vokes said Colombo should be able to attract cargo as long as it provides an efficient service to shipping lines and shippers.

“If Colombo port wants to retain its hub status it has to become more efficient, as Indian ports become more efficient.”

Vokes said the ADB has given Sri Lanka a loan of 300 million dollars to build the breakwater for the new port and to dredge it deep enough to handle bigger ships.

“Progress on the new breakwater is broadly on track, albeit a little bit behind schedule because of bad weather problems,” Vokes said.

“We expect it to be ready by April 2010 and work on the new container terminal to start by mid-2010.”

Sri Lanka managed to attract only one bid to design and build the first new container terminal in the new port, known as the south terminal.

The government is holding talks with the bidder, a consortium consisting of China Merchant Holdings and the local Aitken Spence conglomerate, in an effort to enhance the royalty payments to ensure it