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Saturday, December 7, 2019
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Port attracts four new shipping lines

Capt Nihal Keppetipola.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has attracted four new shipping lines last year and expects to be the mega hub in the region beating the Cochin harbour Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Managing Director, Captain Nihal Keppetipola told Daily News Business.

He said the SLPA has provided many facilities for shipping lines even during the time of global economic meltdown. “We hope to handle more business and we expect to increase our income and profits,” he said. A new breakwater and a container terminal will be developed under the phase I development project, with a total investment of US$ 720 million in the Colombo port. The Colombo port handles over 10,000 operations daily, where it contributes immensely to the country’s economy and with this expansion project the throughput of the port will increase further by over 2.4 million, he said.

With the introduction of the computerized terminal management system last year the throughput and the vessel turnaround has increased rapidly. The SLPA expects to buy new equipment this year to increase productivity of the Colombo port, Keppetipola said.

He said that Colombo port is in a strategic geographical position and has the advantage of being in the main East - West shipping routes. This has made the Colombo port the best port in the region.

With work commencing in Hambantota and Oluvil ports and with the expansion of the Colombo harbour, the country could compete with the other regional ports.

Around 4,000 to 5,000 acres of land around the Hambantota port will be utilized for logistic purposes such as assembling plants, grinding mills, cement grinding plants and packing, he said.

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