Sri Lanka to seek new investors for Hambantota port industries

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will call for fresh investment proposals for an industrial zone adjacent to Hambantota port later in January, with some of the older investors not going ahead, a top official said.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Dhammika Ranatunga said several investors who had expressed interest and were allocated space in the past to star industries were not found to be going ahead, and a decision was taken to call for new requests for proposals (RFP).

"We are hoping to get the advertisements out before the end of January," Ranatunga said.

The cabinet of ministers had already given the go ahead to cancel some of the earlier proposals which were not panning out, subject to the opinion of the Attorney General, he said.

The new management had tried to contact some of the investors who were approved earlier to revive the projects but had not succeeded he said. One of the projects which wanted to use coal power had failed to get environment clearance.

Another involving the re-export of jet fuel ran contrary to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation law.

Ranatunga said he was trying to attract industries that involve loading and unloading of goods, which will give revenue to Hambantota port to generate more revenue repay a 1.2 billion US dollar loan taken from China.

He said SLPA was seeking investors with a strong financial background who were principles, rather than third parties who negotiated a proposal and then tried to find partners to actually carry out the project.

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