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 Magampura secures US$ 1 b investments

Dr. Wickrama at the investment forum

The first phase of the Ruhunu Magampura port project in Hambantota has been able to secure investments to the value of US $ one billion. Ports Authority Chairman (SLPA) Dr. Priyath Wickrama speaking at the Hambantota Investment Forum organised by the Hambantota District Chamber said they allowed an additional investor to be roped in to make this investment possible.

“We called for Request for proposals (REP) for the first stage on the project and had short listed 13 investors.

“We also granted approval for one more investor and the total investment pledged by them is now US $ one billion,” he said.

He said the private sector is very cautious when making investments and if there were rocks or ships unable to sail to the Ruhunu Magampura Port they would not have invested US $ one billion.

The Chairman said that they will forward these proposals for Cabinet approval and the project will commence from September. These investors will be allocated 100 hectares under phase one and an additional 300 hectares for the second phase. The investments include a sugar, fertilizer and cement plants, two car assembly plants and petro chemicals related investments.

He said these projects would be for value addition and transshipment and hence they would not have to pay any duty. They will have to pay only port related duty.

He also disclosed that they will be calling for REP for the second stage of the project in October this year and are looking at securing investments to the country to the value of US $ 5 billion by 2015. “This includes Colombo and Trincomalee harbours as well.”

Dr. Wickrama also disclosed that they have acquired an additional 1,000 hectares of land beyond the access road for port related development and relocation of families have been completed. Commenting on phase two he said that it will be ready by 2014 and then it will contain 10 berths. “With the experience we gained from the first phase we would be able to complete phase two more successfully.”

The investment for the first stage is US $ 600 million and for the second phase it is US $ 800 million making it the biggest single development project in the country. Over 13,000 are directly employed in the Colombo Port and they do not want such a high number for the Ruhunu Magampura project. “We are looking at getting services more outsourced so that the benefits would trickle down to the residents in the area.”

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