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 SLPA commemorates 33rd anniversary with broader prospects for future maritime prosperity
 

Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) commemorates its 33rd anniversary on the 01st of August 2012. Expressing views on the occasion, Dr.Priyath B.Wickrama – Chairman of SLPA emphasizes that the Sri Lankan ports should be strongly developed for their sustainable existence in the maritime sector, with rapid globalization and amidst challenging competitions between international ports.

Following the guidelines set at ‘Mahinda Chinthana’ policy document of the Government of His Excellency the President Mahinda Rajapaksa and instructions extended by Hon.Deputy Minister of Port and Highways – Rohitha Abegunawardhana, SLPA’s timely implementations during the past few years to develop its ports in Colombo, Hambantota Galle and  Oluvil saw successful progress with winning achievements to keep the glory of the country being developed as the next maritime hub in the region at an apex in the international arena.

In order to strengthen the efficiency at  the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT), SLPA recently purchased brand new gantry cranes,  transfer cranes and prime movers. The institution also launched a new scheme of programmes to train its workforce who can efficiently maneuver the new equipment.  As a result during the past two years JCT has marked an increased improvement in capacity.

Compared to the year 2010, SLPA   has reached a growth of 6.1% in its total throughput operations in 2011. It has also marked an increase of 14.9% in domestic operations. During the first half of this year and in comparison to same period last year, Sri Lanka Ports Authority has achieved a growth of 3.1% in the total throughput operations. The growth seen in the domestic operations is 13.1%.

At present, through the Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP), the Port of Colombo is being developed to facilitate  all types of future container vessels that include even mega container vessels, enabling the port’s sustainability as a  fully fledged transshipment centre. Plans have already been drawn to construct and operate the first berth of the eastern terminal of CPEP through the SLPA by July 2013. The south container terminal of the CPEP will be constructed and operated by Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) Ltd; of which SLPA is also a share holder,  and the first berth will be operational by April 2014.

The road developments within SLPA is also underway and the tracks will be developed up to six lanes. The expansions of the  Harthal bridge within,  started on the 01st August last year has been fully completed.

The transfer of all Ro Ro operations from Colombo to Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port (MRMRP) in Hambantota from June this year  extended the best solution to the present congestion of traffic in Colombo for Ro Ro operations. Ro Ro vessels delayed for weeks awaiting berth at the port of Colombo has now seen quicker , efficient and smoother operations at the brand new MRMR Port in Hambantota. The aim of SLPA is to handle one million units of vehicles at MRMRP as a Ro Ro transshipment port, by the next five years. A large number of requests for proposals to commence industries at the Freeport have been received from investors whilst several have commenced constructions of industries at the free trade zone of the port. SLPA is also at progressive discussions with several global companies of constructing terminals abroad using  the engineering and consulting  expertise  of the institution.

The one stop centre designed for the SLPA will be constructed at the Canal Yards at Fort area in Colombo and will bring all   port administrative sections and units under one roof.  More than 50% of space of the new building will be allocated for ship agents’ offices, banks and other related service providers.  A fully fledged cargo village is also under way at Peliyagoda. The proposed port city  to be built will occupy approximately 230 Hectares that is nearly 575 acres of water front with the shelter of new breakwater and  will reclaim an investment of approximately US$ 900 Million. The plan has also been given approval by the Standing Cabinet Appointed Review Committee (SCARC). At the recently concluded international Seatrade Conference and Exhibition at the Hilton hotel in Colombo, Dr.Priyath B.Wickrama – Chairman of SLPA emphasized that the  area will be developed as a port city with a proper planning to equip with roads, water, electricity, communication facilities to set up shopping areas, water sport area, mini golf course, hotels, apartments, recreation areas, marinas and with a lot more additions that would  develop the area  as a modern city.

The mega developments and all due welfare activities that included a successful insurance scheme for all port staffs and employees implemented during the past years have contributed at large, towards better and sustainable industrial peace at the institution to efficiently perform as a glorious public sector institution that caters towards the national socio-economic development of Sri Lanka. The new  innovations with mega construction activities  will not only  change geography and outlook of Sri Lanka, but also extend  immense strength to the Government’s efforts  to ensure continuity and dedication towards realizing the goal of making Sri Lanka, the most competitive and preferred maritime and logistic center in the Asian region.
(CPRD31072012)

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