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Saturday, December 7, 2019
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  Shipping bigwigs bid to build harbour terminal

A part of the work on the Hambantota port project has been completed ahead of schedule. It was due to be completed during the next six months.

Two big shipping lines, four Sri Lankan conglomerates, and a Middle East port operator will bid for the construction of the Colombo South harbour terminal, Sri Lanka Ports Authority, officials said.

The seven parties have collected the bidding documents and were present at the pre-bid meeting with Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) officials to seek clarifications on the project, officials said.

The Request For Proposals (RFP) to build and operate the first container in the new South Port of Colombo, being built next to the existing harbour, was called in mid-February.

Among the notable absentees at the pre-bid meeting were the front-runners in the previous bidding round, Port of Singapore Authority (PSA Corp) and Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) of Hong Kong. However, the bidding documents can be collected till April 10, officials said.

The four Sri Lankan conglomerates at the pre-bid meeting were John Keells Holdings, Aitken Spence, Hayleys and Hemas. Another conglomerate who had bid in the previous round, Carson Cumberbatch, was not present. Bids will be opened by the Cabinet appointed negotiating committee on behalf of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority on May 19. Two shipping lines also took part, Maersk, the world's biggest shipping line, and APL, another big shipping line.

In addition Gulftainer, a port operator based in Sharjah in the UAE, and South Asia Gateway Terminals, who manage the Queen Elizabeth Quay facilities in Colombo were also present. Further, the Colombo South Development project is expected to complete the construction as scheduled, SLPA sources said.

The other parties at the pre-bid meeting were Standard Chartered Bank, Asian Development Bank, which has lent money to build the breakwater for the new port, and China Harbour Engineering Company, one of the Chinese contractors building a new port in Southern Hambantota.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority
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Colombo 01, Sri Lanka.
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