Sri Lanka Ports Authority steps up efforts to be a key maritime hub in Asia - Opportunity Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Ports Authority steps up efforts to be a key maritime hub in Asia

Sri Lanka Ports Authority steps up efforts to be a key maritime hub in Asia

Daily FT: Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is stepping up efforts to boost capacity and services in ports around the island to reinforce its status as a key maritime hub in Asia.
“Despite challenges faced, we see improved business and progress in development activities in all the port activities countrywide. The development of the port infrastructure and service remains a key priority,” SLPA Chairman Keith Bernard told the Daily FT.
He also said that during the first four months, a total of 1,358 ships were called at the Colombo Port and handled 569,000 TEUs whilst generating an income of around Rs. 22 billion.
The SLPA Chief expressed confidence that Colombo port will have the capacity to handle a forecast demand of around 15 million TEUs by the year 2025, with the completion of two new East and West container terminals.
In 2022, the total number of vessels that arrived in Colombo dropped by 2.6% year-on-year to 4,073 amidst the worst economic downturn. Total cargo handled in Colombo port was just over 96 million tons and total transhipment containers handled by all three terminals was at 5.83 million TEUs
Highlighting the ongoing projects within the Colombo Port, Bernard said the extension of the peer of Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) will be completed by the end of next month, whilst work on East Container Terminal (ECT) and West Container Terminal (WCT) are progressing as per the plan.
“In terms of the ECT, around 600 meters of work on the berth, yard work, fixing of several Rail Mounted Gantry (RMG) cranes and implementation of six of the 12 Ship to Shore Gantry (STS) cranes will be completed by the end of this year,” Bernard said.
The ECT and WCT terminals are expected to be completed by 2025 and 2027.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in its Review of Maritime Transport 2022 has revealed that the Port of Colombo is the highest-performing port in South Asia and ranked 24th best port in the world. At present, the Colombo port can handle over 7 million TEUs.
“The comprehensive development work at the Colombo Port will make it a container and logistics hub,” he added.
He also outlined development plans already implemented in the other ports. “The Galle Port will be built to cater to the tourism industry with a mixed development project having cruise terminals and the port of Trincomalee will be made an industrial port, whilst Kankesanthurai Port will be developed for tourism and commercial purposes,” he explained.

OSL take:

Sri Lanka’s ports and shipping industry has shown a steady growth in the past few years. The country’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean, the close proximity to international maritime lanes and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have also helped boost Sri Lanka’s ports and shipping industry. Sri Lanka also has the edge over many other countries since there are ports that could service international vessels surrounding the island nation. The growing business potential in the industry is evident by looking at the key development and expansion programmes undertaken by the country’s main ports. The increase in businesses handled by these ports is indicative of the growing business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s ports and shipping industry. Foreign businesses engaged in the maritime industry could therefore explore the growing business/investment opportunities in Sri Lanka’s maritime industry. They could also look at developing supplementary infrastructure facilities required with the rapid development and expansion of the ports and shipping industry.

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Article Code : VBS/AT/20230613/Z_2

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