The Sri Lanka Ports Authority which manages the
Colombo and Hambantota Ports has made a staggering profit of 13 .2 billion
rupee profit for the year 2017. The profit was a mere one billion Sri Lankan
rupees in 2016. This was a quantum leap in terms of profit, Minister of Ports
and Shipping Mahinda Samarasinghe said according to Sri Lankan Media reports.
We have every reason to believe that profits for
the year 2018 would continue to bring in similar profit levels, he said.
Samarasinghe was speaking at a function in the capital city of Colombo.
The Hambantota Port joint venture with a Chinese
company is off the ground now. Sri Lanka will be receiving 580 million US
dollars by May 9th from the Chinese company, the amount being the balance of
the 60 percent due to Sri Lanka under the agreement.
Most conditions have been fulfilled by the
Chinese company and the release of funds would strengthen the economic
fundamentals, including sustainable development efforts. This is the largest
ever FDI .160 million dollars is to come in for infrastructure. The port would
be operational. The money invested would be recoverable.
A sum of .5 billion Sri Lankan rupees has been
spent on constructing stage two of the Hambantota Port, Sri Lanka Ports
Authority is to retire the debt. We have been freed from this huge debt
payment. The SLPA will honor this debt, the minister explained.
Sri Lanka has negotiated a hall mark agreement
with the operators in Colombo Port, to promote Colombo Port collectively. This
is a hallmark agreement. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority, had discussions with
three players for development of Colombo Port This would enable two ships of
three hundred meters to berth. Currently such huge drafts are not available in
any port in the vicinity..
The Minister said he would be taking up the issue
of development of Easter Terminal at Colombo with the Cabinet. The terminal
would be developed by the Sri Lankan Port Authority Ddevelopment of East
Terminal at Colombo Port needs to be accelerated, enabling shipping that pass
our port to visit Colombo rather than pass by. (India has evinced interest in
developing the East terminal at Colombo and the state owned Container Corporation
of India is in the race for securing the development contract)
As a result of shipping not calling at Colombo
Port over the past three years, the country has sustained a notional loss of
3.5 billion rupees. SLPA would be developed to handle this need.
'Trincomalee Harbour in the Eastern Sri Lanka is
also to be developed along with strategic development of the Kankesanturai
Harbour in the Jaffna region. The Tricomalee port will be developed taking into
consideration the demand for Cruise Shipping. Trinco harbor and the Galle
harbor would be developed to meet these needs and concerns.
The port authority is facing problem in
developing Oluville harbor due to the presence of sand banks. Steps will be
taken to attend to this problem the minister said. He said the Sri Lankan Port
Authority will no longer depend on the State Treasury for development of Ports
in the island and instead would contribute to the treasury.'