Sri Lanka seeking international partner to make Hambantota RO-RO hub
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka wants to tie up with an international partner to operate a Roll-on-Roll-off (RO-RO) berth who will also win business away from key East Asian and Middle Eastern ports to make its new Hambantota port a global hub.
The cabinet of ministers had approved a proposal by the Ports Minister Arjuna Ranatunga to start a joint venture with an international RO-RO or terminal operator, the state information office said.
Hambantota port as already drawn interest from India-based car manufacturers, who are using the port to export to East Africa and other destinations.
In the first four months of 2014, 48,811 cars have been transhipped via Hambantota, up from 3,519 in 2013.
Singapore and Dubai are the two main vehicle transhipment hubs near Sri Lanka.
Since the global RO-RO business is in the hands of a few major lines, some of whom are also terminal operators, Sri Lanka wants to tie up with one of them to win business and improve management of a birth as a common user facility.