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Chinese company to deepen Colombo Port while Indian offer to fund development of East Terminal rejected

The Sri Lankan Ports and Shipping Ministry will develop the state owned Jeya Container Terminal (JCT) of Colombo Port at a cost of 25.7 Million US Dollars (four billion Sri Lankan rupees approximately) by deepening it up to 15 metres, fixing three Gantry Cranes and expanding the quay to facilitate two 350 metre ships at a time, Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said.

The Contract to deepen the port has been awarded to a Chinese company while India’s offer to fund the development of East Terminal has been rejected according to Sri Lankan Media reports.

The Sri Lankan Cabinet has approved the contract to supply three Gantry Cranes to the JCT by Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Ltd. and the contract to deepen the JCT to China Harbor Engineering Co. on the recomendation of the Cabinet Appointed Procurement Committee (CAPC),” Minister Smarasinghe said.

Meanwhile, the Eastern Container Terminal (ECT) will also be developed as the deepest Container Terminal at the Port of Colombo enabling to berth massive ships, container carriers and oil tankers.  

In three other terminals at the Colombo Port, Jeya Container Terminal (JCT) South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) and the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT) don’t have facilities to take big ships. After the development of ECT it will provide facilities to berth the largest ships in the world. Today’s trend is that shipping companies merge themselves to form large conglomerates and build huge ships, containers and tankers to transport large amount of goods and fuel.

Minister Samarasinghe said however, an MOU had been signed to develop the ECT with Indian funding but the government after convincing the Indian government on the necessity to keep the ECT under the SLPA had abandoned the project. The ECT will be developed with the funding of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority alone.

Minister Samarasinghe noted that the trend in the global Shipping Industry was to amalgamate middle and smaller cargo companies and engage in international cargo transportation using mammoth container ships and tankers that could transport several hundred thousand tons of fuel and containers.

“Our target is to meet the global demand in cargo transportation and make Port of Colombo, one of the major ports in Asia for trans-shipment and bunkering and cargo handling,” Minister Samarasinghe stressed.


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