Terminal Award

Aug 30, 2010 (LBO) – A concession to build and operate a 450 million US dollar container terminal in an expanded port in Colombo port has been awarded to Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence and China Merchants Holdings, an official said. CHEC and China Merchant come under the same arm of the Chinese government, industry analysts say.

The Colombo terminal will be financed with debt and equity and will be jointly owned by listed Aitken Spence and China Merchants Holdings, along with the SLPA.

China Merchants Holdings will have 55 percent, Aitken Spence 30 percent and the SLPA 15 percent in the new terminal. The decision was taken at a meeting of Sri Lanka’s cabinet Monday, chairman of the state-run Sri Lanka Ports Authority Priyath Wickrama told a forum in Colombo.

Construction of the new terminal is expected to start within six months, Wickrama said.

The Aitken Spence – China Merchants consortium was the sole bidder for the terminal concession but SLPA negotiated for higher royalties and upfront fees.

Wickrama said the terminal would be built by the same Chinese contractor that is building a Chinese financed port in the island’s south in Hambantota.

The Hambantota port is built by China Harbour Engineering