Sri Lankan Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva has said the government will spend around 132 million US dollars on port development projects in an effort to shore up the container handling capacity of Colombo Port.
These investments would be made through revenue generated from port operations, the minister said on February 18ty, Chinese official news agency Xinhua reported.
Speaking at an event in Colombo, the minister said the government has allocated over 100 million US dollars for the Eastern Container Terminal and 32 million US dollars for the Jaya Container Terminal.
Both terminals are fully owned subsidiaries of the state-owned Sri Lanka Ports Authority. The investments are intended to shore up the capacity of Colombo port’s terminals. The Colombo east terminal was given to India through an MOU signed with the sri Lankan government. The Sri Lankan government withdrew from the commitment at the last minute and instead awarded Colombo west terminal to the Adani group.
He added that apart from the above investments, they expect to develop the Trincomalee harbor for bulk cargo operations and the Galle harbor for tourism industry with a yacht service and facilitate the anchoring of large ships.
Sri Lanka expects to become a logistics and transport hub in the Indian Ocean. India remains way behind in developing a hub in southern India. After deciding in favor of Colachel terminal, they have put the project in cold storage after seven years of cabinet sanction. The present thinking to put up a massive terminal at Nicobar islands brushing aside serious environmental concerns.
The shipping ministry has also cold shouldered a proposal of VOC Port Tuticorin to put up a transshipment terminal. Both Colachel and Tuticorin are strategically situated on the international shipping lane.