ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will invite interested parties to develop a greenfield container terminal in Colombo port while a partially built East Container Terminal will remain in the hands of the state port agency, ministers said.
Cabinet spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said cabinet had decided the ECT will remain under the control of Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
Minister Udaya Gammanpila said inviting investors for the West Terminal was in line with the manifesto of the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
No formal decision was made to abrogate an existing deal with India and Japan to develop the ECT.
But he said India and Japan can nominate the companies of their choice to develop the Western Terminal.
The cabinet had decided to offer the West Terminal on the same basis as two earlier terminals such as the South Asia Gateway Terminals and and CICT.
The two terminals were developed on Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis with a concession period of 35 years.
“India is a very valuable friend and geopolitically important,” Minister Ramesh Pathirana said.
“India is a friendly country but we have the capacity to explain to them the importance of this matter.”
Minister Gammanpila said the Eastern terminal strategically located within the port as it linked two terminals.
He said the Sri Lanka Ports Authority will develop the ECT with its own funds and domestic bank borrowings. (Colombo/Feb02/2021)