ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is to buy three Ship to Shore (STS) cranes from China under the expansion of the state-run Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) 5 to enable berthing of bigger ships.
The 25 million US dollar investment has been approved by a Cabinet-appointed procurement committee, Ports, Shipping and Southern Development Minister Sagala Ratnayaka said.
"This is the first step in a rapid, accelerated expansion program to cater to the growing demand from our customers. We will continue to listen and improve as required by market conditions," a statement quoted him as saying.
The government last year decided to expand JCT 5 with a wider quay and modern equipment, at an investment of 70 million dollars.
"This will allow two 360 meter vessels to berth at the Colombo Port at the same time,” Ratnayaka said.
“The Cabinet approval for the purchase was given last week that the SLPA will buy the cranes from a Chinese supplier, selected according to the Cabinet-approved procurement process."
Ratnayaka said the new infrastructure development drive would project Colombo as a more competitive port in the region and support its global ranking.
"The port must attract greater transhipment cargo traffic volume – thus directly increasing foreign exchange earnings. To achieve this, we must be more attractive than all neighbouring ports – financially, efficiency-wise, and in terms of ease of doing business," he said.
(COLOMBO, April 11, 2019-SB)