The Sri Lankan Government has awarded the bid to construct three terminals under the Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP) to a Chinese company, Deputy Minister of Ports and Aviation, Rohitha Abeygunawardena revealed. Each terminal consists of 400 metres-long three berths and it can accommodate 2.4 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit’s (TEU’s) per year, he said. The Letter of Intent (LOI) has been issued to the selected developer of the South Container terminal of the Port of Colombo, Ms/ China Merchants Holdings (International) Co, Ltd and Aitken Spence PLC Consortium.
The consortium has fulfilled the preconditions given in the LOI, he said. The Built Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement will be signed between the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and the Consortium after obtaining the clearance of the Attorney General’s department soon, Mr. Abeygunawardena disclosed.
The US$ 330 million Colombo Port Expansion Project provides break water construction and harbour channel dredging sufficient to accommodate three terminals. The project includes the setting up of a new marine operations centre, relocation of a submarine oil pipeline, provision of navigational aides and construction of shore utilities. The Asian Development BANK (ADB) and Sri Lanka Ports Authority jointly finance the project in which the ADB’s contribution is US$300 million, which is 81.7% of the total project cost. The balance 18.3 % will be borne by SLPA, he said. The CPEP is expected to be completed in April 2012 with 65% of the project beingcompleted, he revealed.
The main contractor of the CPEP is M/s Hyundai Engineering Construction and Co Ltd while M/s Scott Wilson Ltd is the project consultant. Large vessels will be able to enter the new port and container handling will be doubled after the completion of the project he said. It will provide direct employment for 4,000 people, he added.