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“Our vision is to consolidate the position of Sri Lanka as  the
 premier maritime logistic centre of the Asian region.”
 

Dr. Priyath B Wickrama addressing a meeting

Sri Lanka Freight Forwarders’ Association, affiliated to the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce held its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on the 25th of June 2009 at the auditorium of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce in Colombo.  

Addressing the gathering  on future ports and their developments in Sri Lanka, Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama, Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) stated that through transforming Colombo to be a renowned logistic hub in the region, SLPA is in the process of developing the ports of Sri Lanka simultaneously.  He said that the intention of SLPA is not only to develop Colombo as a logistic hub but also to develop the entire country as a logistic hub. “In that intention we have planned our future development activities. Our vision is to consolidate the position of Sri Lanka as  the premier maritime logistic centre of the Asian region.” Chairman, SLPA said.  

Expressing further he said that in order to realize the said vision, SLPA is on a mission to increase its profitability, efficiency and the customer base by providing excellent service and world class facilities.  

In the development of the overall port development sector in Sri Lanka SLPA will invest more than 1.2 billion US $ from public funds and another nearly 500 million US $ through private investment. Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama said that it is a must that Sri Lanka should modernize and expand the air and sea port infrastructure in order to exploit its geographical advantage.  

SLPA has also commenced the Colombo Port Expansion Project with the construction of the breakwater which is almost 6 km in length that commenced in April 2008 at a total cost of 345 million US $. The RFP and BOT contract for the first terminal namely South Container Terminal is scheduled to be evaluated within the next few months and it is hoped that the contract could be awarded at the end of this year. The terminal with a rated capacity of 2.5 million TEUs will consist of a quay of 1200 meters.  

Addressing the gathering at the AGM, Chairman of SLPA also stated that the Constructions of Hambantota Port Project is well ahead the schedule and it is expected that the first vessel will be berthed by December 2010. He further said that the Port of Kankasanthurai (KKS)  will also be cleared of all wrecks and be in operation in the near future.  

“We are not only looking at port development. In fact a cargo village consisting of about 25 acres, will be set up by SLPA at Bluemandhal inColombo. It is hoped that all functions such as FCC, MCC and most of the other activities will also be shifted to this location.’’ Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama said.  

Chairman of  Sri Lanka Freight Forwarders’ Association -  Mr.Tony De Livera, Secretary – Ms.Irangika Siriwardena, Vice Chairman – Mr.S.Mohanadas, Treasure – Dushmantha Karannagoda, Immediate Past Chairman – Mr.Ruwan Waidyarathne were also present at the occasion.
(MPRD29062009)

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