Rocky Tale

Aug 25, 2011 (LBO) – Bunkering at Hambantota port in Sri Lanka’s South is to start next month after spending 40 million dollars to demolish a rock blocking the entrance, a media report said. “This rock was identified before we started the port construction,” Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Priyath Wickrama was quoted as saying by Reuters, a news agency.

“We need just below 40 million dollars to blast it. We have requested the amount from China.”

News about the rock and additional cost to blast the rock began filtering out after the port was opened last year on President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s birthday. The port is built in President Rajapaksa’s home constituency. Few ships have come so far.

“Normally ships don’t call at once,” Wickrama was quoted as saying by Reuters. “They need time to study business opportunities.

“We have to develop secondary facilities at the port and once we have them along with bunkering facilities, we can get ships to Hambantota.”

Hambantota is positioned as a bunkering point – Hambantota is closer to the main East-West sea lanes than Colombo – and an industrial port.

But about 900 million dollars of port related industries are already