Project to develop Galle Port | Sunday Observer
Cruise terminal to facilitate large ships

Project to develop Galle Port

18 September, 2022

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has launched a project to develop and promote the heritage city Galle’s Port into a full-fledged tourist port and leisure hub of South Asia with an investment of $ 175-200 million, said Ports, Shipping and Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva.

He said the four-year project headed by the SLPA will be developed as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). The project includes two offshore breakwaters to maintain calmness in the Galle bay and harbour. It has been proposed to construct a state-of-the-art cruise terminal to facilitate large cruise ships.

He was delivering the inaugural address at the 56th Annual General Meeting of Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) at the Kingsbury Hotel on Wednesday.

Minister de Silva said the aim is to convert Galle into a regional commercial port with emphasis on tourism. With new private sector investments, leisure-based commercial activities will also be developed. The port of Trincomalee has been developed focusing on conventional cargo operations.

He said, “Apart from port infrastructure, we identified the need to develop our ancillary services to move forward the concept of a hub. A successful hub port needs the full range of ancillary port and marine services at competitive prices to be attractive to mainline and feeder operators, casual callers and attracting vessels specifically for services even without cargo operations.”

The SLPA has taken steps to develop the infrastructure for capacity enhancement. Two deep-water terminals will be added within two to three years. Sri Lanka sealed the biggest-ever investment in the port sector worth $ 650 million with joint project promoters – India’s giant Adani, local bluechip John Keells Holdings and the State-owned SLPA signing the Build, Own and Transfer deal for the Colombo West International Terminal.

The Minister said the SLPA began construction work on phase five of the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) to improve the capacity of the Colombo Port. Phase five of the JCT includes an investment of $ 32 million. China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd will handle the project. A new yard of 40,000 square metres will also be added to the JCT on completion.

Since the Port of Colombo (POC) has been ranked as the 15th connected Port, “We invite world shipping lines to consider more transshipment at the POC. The cargo that is brought to the POC can be easily transhipped to the Indian Ports, Africa, Bangladesh, the Maldives and the Far East. Such services may also provide a competitive price for them. The CASA could be the brand ambassador in promoting the Port of Colombo as a transshipment hub and thereby contribute to its growth,” he said.