ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is to develop the northern Kankesanthurai (KKS) harbour with Indian aid to enable it to berth general cargo ships and handle exports and imports, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
The government aims to develop a “vibrant economic hub” around the Kankesanthurai harbour that would be transformed into a commercial port, he said after a visit to the port in the Jaffna peninsula.
A statement said Wickremesinghe, who is also Northern Province Development Minister, instructed officials to work expeditiously to finalise land acquisition and other preliminary work of the three-year, 45.27 million US dollar development project.
Ports, Shipping, and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka tweeted this morning that the Kankesanthurai harbour, currently operated by Sri Lanka Navy, would be transformed into a port that can handle general cargo ships.
The transformation of the port is aimed to boost import and export sectors while generating a large number of direct and indirect employment opportunities, the statement said.
“Under this plan, the harbour’s basin will be deepened to 8 metres allowing it to handle general cargo ships,” Ratnayaka said.
“The current breakwater will be completely replaced as part of the transformation. One existing pier will be completely rehabilitated and a new pier will also be constructed.”
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has already begun initial work on a 15-acre area within the KKS harbour premises, and it is expected to be expanded to a 50-acre area in the next phase.