Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) will continue with their ongoing investment plans to go ahead with the construction of the East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Colombo Port. The total investment would be USD 500 million and 20% of the work has been completed, disclosed Chairman of SLPA, Dr. Prasantha Jayamanna yesterday.
With the planned investment the length of the ECT will increase to 1,320 meters and the depth would be increased from 18 meters to 20 and the first phase is scheduled to be completed in July next year. Under the first phase, 6 ship-to-shore cranes and 20 rail-mounted gantry (RMG) cranes will be installed at the Eastern terminal and this equipment are currently being imported.
He said that if the development is halted or delayed the competitiveness of the Colombo Port which ranked 23rd in the world and the top in South Asia will come into question. The terminal will span over 600 meters and total completion of the project would be by 2024 July. The Chairman also said that they have their own finances through their cash flows and if there is an issue to raise funds they will look at other fending. He also said that currently the SLPA is only servicing a few foreign debts and they have no issue in debt servicing.
Dr. Jayamanna said the SLPA made a record turnover of Rs. 61 billion last year and this year too they are on track to achieve this. “in addition we will also invest in a new BQ warehouse facility within the Prot. “Over 85% of our business is from transshipment cargo and we need to do that in a bid to provide them more infrastructures and this is the reason they are making these investments. However as per government regulations we have taken a series of measures to cut down cost and all new recruitments too have stopped.”
He also reiterated that it’s not compulsory to pay for port related services in USD but there is an opening to do so if needed. The members of the two private operated terminals CICT and SAGT also participated in this event and said they were happy with the progress the Port is making and facilities offered to them.
[SLPA to call for EOI]
The SLPA will soon call for expressions of interest (EOI) for the development of Trincomalee Port, said Chairman of SLPA, Dr. Prasantha Jayamanna yesterday.
He said that plans were to develop the Trincomalee Port as an industrial port and they expect to attract more Lankan entrepreneurs for investment.
“We have around 2,400 hectares of land available in the port area and this would be ideal for mainly local companies to look at warehousing and other port related investments.”
[Ample fuel for employees]
Sri Lanka Ports Authority has ample stocks of fuel in the Colombo Harbour and these are also provided for employees vehicles (mainly motorbikes) in the event they are unable to pump fuel to travel to work. “We have ample fuel stocks in our storages and also there is provision to get more fuel from other sources if needed.”
In addition, SLPA has also executed a special roster system allowing more employees to work from the Colombo Port premises itself. These steps are taken to ensure that there is no disruption of work and ensure the smooth functions of the Colombo Port which today is not affected by ongoing protests or political unrest.