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
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
“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