Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has said it will develop the of Port of Colombo with a focus on the container transhipment and related logistics businesses instead of growth of domestic market.
The South Port of Colombo has planned to cater for container transhipment demand from the Indian Subcontinent and having any other commodity terminal services in the South port of Colombo is inappropriate.
As the energy demand of the country increases rapidly with the large developments taking place in Colombo city, the requirement of a terminal facility for the importation of liquefied natural gas to Colombo is a mandatory requirement, according to SLPA.
Furthermore, considering the gas ships require a sheltered area, and the berth occupancy and usage in the existing Port of Colombo is already congested the demand to have another sheltered area adjoining to port of Colombo is in discussion.
The South Port of Colombo predominately focuses for transhipment and domestic container handling. The capacity of Port of Colombo within the existing breakwaters is around 12 million TEU per annum. The extension of the West Container Terminal brings the capacity of Port of Colombo at the range of 15 million TEU. This is planned to cover developments over the next 10 years, the period for which the feasibility study and detailed technical study that have been completed and which the authorities are ready to implement.
SLPA needs a long term plan for the next 30 years to develop the additional capacity needed for container handing capacity of around 35 million TEU.
In consideration of these issues, SLPA has planned to develop a new port, the Colombo North Port, to the north of the existing Port of Colombo. The proposed Colombo North Port may spread from the Kelani River in the Modara area, up to the existing northern breakwater of the Colombo Port.
SLPA intends to use the proposed Colombo North Port for liquid bulk, dry bulk, Ro Ro and containers. It is planned to implement The North Port development in stages depending on the demand. SLPA is focused on providing infrastructure facilities and port servicers well ahead of demand.
Accordingly, SLPA plans to complete a feasibility study for the Colombo North Port Development Project focused on expanding capacity of container handling while serving all other port services expected from industry.
Under the ADB funded Transport Project Preparatory Facility, SLPA had a portion of the funds available for the Feasibility study for the Colombo North Port Project. The duration of the study is expected to be 15 months.
SLPA has initiated the procurement process through a call for expressions of interest and subsequently the request for proposals and selected the consultant for the feasibility study for the Colombo North Port Development Project. Accordingly, with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers, SLPA has signed the agreement with AECOM Infrastructure & Environment UK Limited on 20th February 2020.