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SLPA to build new port in Southern Coast

May '07
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) will build a new deep-water port in Sri Lanka's southern coast of Hambantota starting in June

SLPA vice Chairman, Priyath Wickrema told journalists the first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed in three years and three months.

A Chinese company, China Harbour Engineering Company Limited and Syno Hydro Corporation Limited signed a contract with the SLPA to build the port, China is also providing a loan to finance the project, and Sri Lankan design experts have been involved in planning of the whole project.

In an attempt to reduce costs, the port will be built inland in the Karagan Levaya lagoon.

US$ 360 million will cost the first phase including two small breakwaters, a cargo terminal and an oil and gas terminal. The port will have a 17 meter draft when completed and be able to accommodate the largest ships.

1,115 hectares of acquired by the government for this project will displace around 450 families who be compensated for having to relocate.

This port will be able to handle 20 million containers in its 11km of berths a year compared to the present port in Colombo, which can handle only 4 million containers a year. There is also a gas-fired power plant and a petroleum storage facility planned within the complex, and will be equipped with shipbuilding capacity and repair yards nearby as well.

Hambantota is six nautical miles from the mail east-west shipping routs in the Indian Ocean, and the dry climate will facilitate easy operations around the cock.

The security risks and congestion in the Colombo port could be easily contained with this new addition according to Wickrema.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - Sri Lanka

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