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 Agreements signed to construct Colombo Port Expansion
 project's South Container Terminal
 
 

Dr.Priyath B. Wickrama - Chairman of SLPA with the signatories for the agreements. Mr.Hu Jianhua -  Assistant President of China Merchants Group & Managing Director of China Merchants Holdings (International) Company Limited, Mr. Yunshu  -  Deputy General Manager of CMHI, Mr.Lu Yongxin -  General Manager of International Division of CMHI, Mr. R.N.Asirwatham - Director, Aitken Spence PLC, Mr.G.C.Wickremasinghe - Director, Aitken Spence PLC and Ms. N.Sivapragasam - Chief Financial Officer, Aitken Spence PLC and Director, CICT attended the signatories for the agreements.  Mr.Norman Weerarathne - Additional Managing Director of SLPA,  Mr.A.D.T.Gunasekara - Director (Technical) of SLPA, and Capt.R.Jayawickrama - Harbour Master of SLPA.
 

The agreements to construct the South Container Terminal of the Colombo Port Expansion Project have been signed among Sri Lanka Ports Authority, China Merchants Holding (International) Company Limited, Aitken Spence PLC and Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd. on  9th November 2011 in Colombo.

 

The signing of the Built Own Transfer (BOT) Agreement for the first terminal at the Colombo South Harbour, took place on Friday the 12th   August this year in Shenzhen, China.  The construction of this terminal is one of the largest Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects taken off the ground recently in Sri Lanka and the signing occurred coincidentally with His Excellency the President’s state visit to China to attend the opening ceremony of the 26th Universiade Shenzhen 2011. The signatories to the agreement were China Merchants Holdings (International) Co., Ltd. (CMHI), Aitken Spence PLC and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), holding 55%, 30% and 15% stakes respectively and the joint venture thus formed for the project was the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) as the operating company. The historic signing ceremony eventuated at Shekou’s Nanhai Hotel with CMHI Managing Director, Dr.Hu Jianhua, Aitken Spence Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Mr. Rajan Brito, SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama and SLPA Managing Director Capt. Nihal Keppetipola participating as   signatories.

 

The site Lease Agreement, Shareholders Agreement, Direct Lenders Agreement and Facility Agreement have been signed on 09.11.2011 to complete the process. Dr.Priyath B.Wickrama - Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and Mr.Indika Karunajeewa - Vice Chairman  of SLPA signed the agreements on behalf of Sri Lanka Ports Authority.   Mr.Hu Jianhua -  Assistant President of China Merchants Group & Managing Director of China Merchants Holdings (International) Company Limited, Mr. Yunshu  -  Deputy General Manager of CMHI, Mr.Lu Yongxin -  General Manager of International Division of CMHI, Mr. R.N.Asirwatham - Director, Aitken Spence PLC, Mr.G.C.Wickremasinghe - Director, Aitken Spence PLC and Ms. N.Sivapragasam - Chief Financial Officer, Aitken Spence PLC and Director, CICT also participated as the signatories for the agreements.

 

 Mr.Norman Weerarathne - Additional Managing Director of SLPA,  Mr.A.D.T.Gunasekara - Director (Technical) of SLPA, Capt.R.Jayawickrama - Harbour Master of SLPA and Mr.Susantha Abeysiriwardana - Project Director of the Colombo Port Expansion Project were also present at the occasion.

 

The construction work of the South Container Terminal  will be commenced on 1st December 2011 and first 600 m of the south Container Terminal will be in operation in early 2014.  The container handling capacity of the South Container Terminal is estimated as 2.4 million TEUs and the entire terminal will be completed in 2016. The project cost of the SCT is estimated as US$ 500 million.

 

Expressing views at a recent international event over the development of the port sector implement in the country at present Dr.Priyath B.Wickrama - Chairman of SLPA stated that as the Port of Colombo is becoming the busiest port in South Asia, the necessity to enhance it’s capacity has arisen. He also stated that under the Colombo Port Expansion Project, it was expected to increase the capacity of the port, making Colombo the largest container Port in South Asia.

 

The port will be developed in 3 stages and each container terminal will add another 2.4 m TEUs enhancing the total capacity up to 13.0 m TEUs from the existing 4.5 m TEUs at present.

 

The expansion of the Port of Colombo has been identified by the government as the flagship development endeavour in the current decade, targeted at giving Colombo a competitive edge over other regional ports. The Phase 1 of Colombo South Harbour, envisaging three terminals of over 1,200m in length each to accommodate four berths alongside depths of 18 meters with provision to deepen to 23 meters to accommodate deeper draft vessels in the future, is scheduled to be carried out in stages. The first stage involves the development of basic infrastructure with public funds, i.e. the breakwater, which by now is over 75% completed and the second stage involves the construction of the South Container Terminal for which the agreements were signed today (09.11.2011).   Building of East and West terminals will be undertaken in later stages. The remainder of the infrastructure building will be carried out simultaneously with the construction of the South Container Terminal. 

 

The China Merchants Holdings (International) Co., Ltd. (CMHI) provides shareholder loan facility up to US$ 350 million and the rest of the capital is to be raised by the shareholders equity. The first 600m quay length of the South Container Terminal is expected to be open for operations by Early 2014 as the first phase and the entire terminal of 1200 m in length will be completed in 2016 as the second phase. At the end of the 35 years of BOT concession period, the whole terminal infrastructure will be transferred to SLPA at no additional cost.

 

The South Container Terminal when completed will provide a harbour basin of 18m depth, to accommodate most modern container megaships and have a handling capacity of 2.4 million Twenty Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) and when the Phase 1 of the project becomes fully-blossomed with three such terminals each having a capacity of 2.4 million TEUs will cater for additional 7.2 million TEUs over the existing capacity of the Port of Colombo, undoubtedly making Colombo the mega hub in South Asia.
(CPRD-14112011)

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