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Proposal for Operation and Bunkering Facility at Port of Hambantota

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Sunday, October 20, 2019
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 Hambantota bunkering facility to be comissioned 'shortly'

Use of Hambantota as vehicle transshipment hub will ease congestion at Colombo

The bunkering facility at the Sri Lanka port of Hambantota, also known as the Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa (MRMR), will soon be commissioned, according to the Secretary to the Ministry of Ports and Highways.

"We will be commissioning the bunkering facility shortly as we have got the approval from Ministry of Petroleum Industries," said R.W.R. Pemasiri, as quoted by the Sunday Observer.

"We need to conduct the trials on the bunker facility and after that we can operate that facility."

An arrangement has been made by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) encouraging car carriers to unload their cargoes at Hambantota port from May 31 onwards, noted Pemasiri.

"All car carriers bound for Sri Lanka can unload the cars at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Port from May 31 enabling the Colombo Port to make use of the space made available for the parking of cars," he said.

"We had discussions with the agents and they have all agreed. Initially there may be few problems but later as it will be ok. Once we start operation moving we could expand our activities for other cargo as well at the Magampura Port."

SLPA, meanwhile, says it is "vigorously campaigning" to use MRMR port as a transshipment hub for vehicles.

"The SLPA is vigorously campaigning to establish the MRMR port as a preferred transshipment hub for vehicles and attractive incentives are being afforded to shipping lines to avail themselves of this facility too," it said.

"The vast areas available for parking of vehicles will be an added boost for the transshipment trade. The additional safety and security precautions there will also result in towards the maximum standards of reducing damages and pilferage."

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