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SLPA to finalize BOT deal
 

Capt. Nihal Keppetipola
 

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) had a three day discussion on the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) deal for the first container terminal of the new Colombo South Harbour with China Merchant Holdings and Aitken Spence PLC.

It is expected to finalize the agreement within this week and the new terminal of the Colombo South Harbour is projected to complete its construction by the end of April, SLPA Managing Director, Capt. Nihal Keppetipola told Daily News Business.

He said the new terminal is built with an investment of over US$ 400 million with a capacity of 2.4 million TEUs per day.

The new terminal with super post-paramax will cater to the 18 meter draughts, which are considered the biggest container vessels.

“The Colombo South Harbour will be a mega hub port in South Asia, which will be a threat to the other ports in the region such as the Cochin harbour.

Colombo Port is located in a strategic geographical position and has the advantage of being in the main East – West shipping routes. With the opening of the new terminal it will generate earnings, loyalty, rent and dividends to the SLPA”, Keppetipola said.

The Managing Director said there is an outstanding increase of over 15 percent in TEUs handling during the first two months of 2010, compared to previous year. The opening of the new Colombo South Harbour would increase their income and profits.

The SLPA intends to attract more shipping lines this year as they attracted Maersk and APL last year. The Colombo Port handles over 10,000 operations per day, where it contributes immensely to the country’s economy and with the expansion project the throughput of the Port will increase further by over 2.4 million, he said.

Keppetipola said, with the introduction of the automated terminal management system, last year the throughput and the vessel turnaround increased rapidly. The SLPA expects to buy new equipment this year to increase the productivity of the Colombo Port.
(DN-15032010)

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