Contract agreed for new container terminal at Colombo Port

News - September 27, 2011

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Port Technology reports that the Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA), Hong Kong-based China Merchant Holdings and Aitken Spence have secured a US$500 million contract for a new container terminal at the Port of Colombo.

The news was announced on September 22nd by the Sri Lanka Board of Investment (BOI). A BOI statement revealed that China Merchants will hold a 55 per cent stake in the project, while Aitken Spence and the SLPA will hold a 30 and 15 per cent share respectively.

“The agreement for one of the largest foreign direct investments will strengthen Colombo's status as the premier shipping hub of South Asia into the 21st century. Construction of the container terminal will commence in December,” BOI said in the statement.

The project will provide employment for over 1000 people directly and indirectly, with the development of the terminal to be completed in two phases.

All three parties of the joint venture will conjoin under the banner of the China International Container Terminal for the design, development, build and management of the terminal, to be built at the southern end of the capital’s port.

Despite Sri Lanka engineering the initial plans for the project last year with China Merchant Holdings, the wheels were only put firmly in motion after Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa state visit to China in August this year.

As well as the China International Container Terminal, two further container facilities are set to be built at Colombo Port through private investment. The combined capacity of all three terminals will add 2.5 million TEUs to the current capacity of 4.5 million TEUs.

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