Sri Lanka to revive port business as debt pressures cash flows

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka Ports Authority said it will resume ship fuel sales and expand vehicle transshipment at the southern Hambantota port to help repay loans taken to build the harbor which are putting pressure on its cash flows this year.

“The main financial challenge SLPA has to face in the new year is to pay back the loans obtained to construct the Port of Hambantota,” it said in a statement.

The loan installment and interest for the completed first stage of the port project and interest and commitment charges for the second stage being completed at present have to be paid this year, it said.

The nine billion rupees that has to be repaid for the Hambanttota port project loans has “increased pressure on the financial flow of the Port of Colombo,” the SLPA said.

Under a new plan of investment at Hambantota port, the SLPA intends to resume business at its bunker facility and expand vehicle transshipment.

“It is expected to minimize the pressure to the financial flow at the Port of Colombo through these procedures,” the statement said.

Bunker sales at Hambanttota were suspended after the SLPA incurred heavy losses when prices fell and it was saddled with unsold stocks.

Vehicle transshipment business has also fallen as the port had failed to provide the required space and equipment needed by shipping lines operating car carriers.   (Colombo/January 04, 2016)






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