Work on Colombo South Harbour gets under way by year's end?
Work on the Colombo South Harbour will commence towards the end of
this year. It is urgent and mandatory that we go ahead with this project
which will be of immense benefit to the shipping industry said Secretary
to the Ministry of Ports and Aviation, D. T. P. Collure.
Collure said the government is in the process of finding funds to
commence work on the Colombo South Harbour by the end of this year.
Though various parties have shown interest in funding the project no
approval has been granted so far.
The development of the Colombo South Harbour is far behind time. The
Port of Colombo handled a volume of 1.7 million twenty foot equalent
units (TEUs) per annum from 1997 to 2002. At present, the Port of
Colombo has an annual design capacity of 3.3 million TEUs. The demand
for the use of the Port of Colombo will outpace the capacity by the end
of 2008. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to expedite the
development of the Colombo South Harbour to facilitate megaships to call
at Colombo, said Chairman, CEO, Aitken Spence Shipping Ltd. Dr.
Due to the reforms undertaken by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA)
in 2002, the Port of Colombo handled approximately two million TEUs in
2003. The demand for the use of the Port of Colombo increased with the
Jaya Container Terminal and South Asia Gateway Terminal (SAGT) providing
good terminal facilities during 2005. This demand is bound to increase
by 10 to 12 percent in the next few years.
Dr. Dissanayake said in 1980 the average size of the ship was 975
TEUs with the largest ship being 3,057 TEUs. Today the average size of a
ship is 2,191 TEUs with the largest ship in the world fleet being 9,200
TEUs. There are designs in place for the construction of 'Malacca Max'
with a capacity of 18,100 TEUs and 'Samsung Suez Max' with a capacity of
Large ships require mega hub ports with modern deep sea facilities.
Shipping Lines expect multiport service delivery. There is concentration
of Shipping Line capacity. The top 15 Shipping Lines own and manage 81
percent of global shipboard capacity of approximately nine million TEUs.
The cost of developing the South, West and East terminals of Colombo
South Harbour with the breakwater and dredging will be approximately US
$ 1.6 billion. The first phase which includes the construction of the
breakwater and dredging will be nearly US $ 320 million and the
construction of the first terminal quay walls and equipment will cost
around US $ 300 million.
The participation of the private sector in the development of the
Colombo South Harbour is vital. The participation of the private and
public sectors will expedite the development of the project.