Sri Lanka Ports Authority to modernize Jaya Container Terminal
Sri Lankan cabinet has given the go ahead for the modernization of Jaya Container terminal known as JCT of the Sri Lanka ports authority. The modernization will largely look to improve upon the capacity of the terminal.
According to the Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, this modernization is the phase V of the renovation of the terminal and will enable the terminal to handle larger ships. This comes after the extension of JCT IV berth at Jaya Container Terminal, to accommodate the mega container carriers that are in operation today. The extension was expected to provide the ability to berth two 8,000 TEU containers simultaneously at JCT III and JCT IV.
Currently, Jaya Container terminal boasts 4 main container berths and 2 feeder birth which also has 45.5 hectares of container terminal area. Colombo port has been responsible for 75% of the transhipment and 25% of domestic cargo as of few years ago and the transhipment volume has increased significantly to 80% currently. Transhipment volume of the Colombo port is however dependent on the Indian cargo around South and East Indian ports being a key focus.
Currently Port of Colombo is used for west bound cargo traffic from east coast of India and the east bound traffic from west coast. However, this will face significant pressure due to the increasingly competitive nature of Indian ports which are engaging in direct calls. Also, the potential of development of these ports carry a significant risk to the dependency on Indian cargo.
However, the modernization efforts follow an earlier call by the Minister Samarasinghe, who in early July claimed the ports authority had incurred significant losses due to not expanding terminals. He commented, “This is the money that could have been earned by the Ports Authority easily. This estimation was given to me by them. I’m the minister responsible and as such I will always express my point of view. Finally, it is up to the government and the Cabinet ministers to take a collective decision”. Though he made these comments in reference to the development of the east container terminal, the call seems to have made an impact in revitalizing the focus of development of container terminals.
He had further noted that JCT’s current capacity was insufficient to handle deep draft vessels and only CICT currently possess such ability. The modernization is expected to include, a cargo distribution centre and a logistics corridor through land around port access road.
The modernization comes at a time when the JCT was facing losses due to its inability to facilitate larger ships which were choosing to use CICT. The modernizations proposed will look to implement changes that will be able to equip JCT with the capabilities to handle larger ships and raise the throughput output.
Sri Lanka’s ports are increasingly being seen as a key driver of growth of the economy and modernization of the JCT is one of the very first initiatives that is being taking place. A national ports plan is also expected to roll out the in the near future, which will firmly establish ports as an sector which will be at the forefront of economic growth.
|Article Code :||VBS/AT/08082017/Z_2|