CICT to enhance Colombo Port’s deep water capacity | Sunday Observer

CICT to enhance Colombo Port’s deep water capacity

Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT) will introduce more equipment to enhance the terminal’s deep water capacity and make Colombo one of the few ports in Asia to handle vessels of over 22,000 TEUs.

Two new mega Quay Gantry Cranes (QGCs), six new Rubber-tyred Gantry Cranes (RTGs) and 12 Prime Movers will be introduced by March 2019.

CICT’s existing QGCs are the biggest gantry cranes in the Indian Subcontinent region, and the addition of two even larger twin-lift QGCs from Zhenhua Port Machinery Company (ZPMC), a global leader in quayside container cranes, will further strengthen the Port of Colombo’s hub status, the company said in a media release.

The new QGCs will provide a lifting height of 54 metres above rail level and 18 metres below rail level with an outreach of 26 across and a lifting capacity of 65 tons, making it possible for the Colombo South container terminal managed by CICT to unload and load 22,000 (and over) TEU vessels, the largest container carriers afloat.

To support the estimated 13 per cent consequent increase in CICT’s capacity, the company also plans to strengthen quayside and yard operations with the acquisition of the six new RTGs also manufactured by ZPMC, which can stack one container over six containers high and one container across six containers width, and to deploy an additional 12 prime movers as terminal tractors.

“This improvement of capacity and upgrade of facilities at a time of global economic uncertainty is an emphatic demonstration of our commitment to the Port of Colombo, and reflects how serious we are about continuing to be the major contributor to the port’s bid to be a major transhipment hub,” CICT CEO Jack Huang said.

“CICT has taken the initiative to boost the Port’s deep water capacity within a mere five years of commencement of operations, at a time when other ports in the region are aggressively adding capacity.

Demand for deep water facilities is increasing at a rapid pace and requires the quick response that only CICT provides,” he said.

Huang said that besides enabling the port to attract larger vessels, this addition will generate more capacity and berthing space by turning ships around faster.

CICT is the principal contributor to growth at the Port of Colombo, having achieved one million TEUs and two million TEUs in its first two years of operation and generated a 14 per cent growth for the port after four years of static growth. CICT has also set benchmark productivity levels for the region achieving 36 moves per hour and helping the Port of Colombo move from a rank 28 to 23 among the world’s best 30 ports, and from 18 to 13 for connectivity.

Besides its significant contributions to the growth of the Port of Colombo in volume terms, CICT is also responsible for several firsts in service innovation and eco-friendly operations. In early 2016, the company launched a US$ 10 million program to convert its fleet of diesel operated rubber-tyred-gantry cranes to electricity driven rubber-tyred gantry cranes (E-RTGs) which have zero carbon emissions.

CICT was also the first terminal in the Port of Colombo to introduce electronic boat notes, breaking new ground in efforts to reduce paper in export documentation.