Southern Chance

Nov 27, 2009 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka Ports Authority will issue a request for proposals for investments in a new port being built in the island’s southern Hambantota region by the second week of December, an official said. SLPA chairman Priyath Wickrama said business opportunities in the new port range from cement grinding and bagging, fertiliser bagging, and warehousing to vehicle transhipment, ship repair and ship supplies like food and water.

One investor has already expressed willingness to have a fertiliser manufacturing plant in the port.

Investors can lease land, enter into an equity-sharing joint venture with the SLPA or pay royalty based on production or volume, he told a seminar organised by the Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council to highlight investment opportunities.

Wickrama said construction work on Hambantota port, at the southern tip of the island, near the main East-West trade route, is ahead of schedule.

“We can complete the first phase of the project by October 2010, one year ahead of schedule, as the earlier plan was to finish by September 2011,” he said.

“This is a huge achievement for us with a project of this scale.”

Except for supplying ship fuel, or bunkers, which will be don