Sri Lanka plans to attract US$5 billion in foreign direct investments for its ports by 2014, focusing on its main Port of Colombo and a new facility in Hambantota in the south.
Sri Lanka is on an investment drive to develop its port facilities, including the main commercial harbour in the capital of Colombo and a new facility in Hambantota, in the south.
"Our target is to reach $5 billion in FDI by 2015 only through the port sector," Sri Lanka Ports Authority chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrama said, reports Lanka Business Online.
"The committed private sector investment we have at this point including Colombo is more than $2.2 billion. Because of that we're going ahead with a second request for proposals for Hambantota, so we are expecting more investment," said Mr Wickrama.
Eleven investors, who will invest more than $800 million in Hambantota, have been selected. The Chinese funded $1.5 billion deep-sea port in Hambantota, opened for international trade and handled 1,000 cars from India destined for Algeria in first week it opened. It straddles a major east-west shipping lanes used by 200 to 300 international vessels daily.
"In Colombo port we have a maximum depth of 15 metres, whereas these ships require a depth of at least 16 metres. At the new terminal we have a minimum depth of 18 metres so we can easily handle any of the world's largest ships. That new terminal will be operational from April 2013," said Mr Wickrama.
He said the Colombo port expansion is slightly ahead of schedule, and should be completed by end next year.
"That means that by the end of 2013 we'll have an almost 1,000 metre long berth, which is something that you can't find in this part of the world. Any container carrier in the world can be handled at our new port, which will have the latest modern technology. This will definitely bring a lot of revenue, investment and employment opportunities to Sri Lanka," he said.
Source : Shipping Gazette