ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port has seen a sharp increase in vessel calls in 2018 with its business also diversifying away from handling vehicles and cruise ships.
Traffic to the Hambantota International Port increased significantly during the last year, with 300 vessels calling with different service requirements, up 30 percent from 2017.
Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) said in a statement it expects to see a “manifold increase in vessel traffic in the new year, which would greatly increase the turnover of the port and in turn provide economic benefits to the Hambantota region.”
Hambantota port saw an increase in vessels docking at the port on the first week of the new year and is currently handling a number of different activities, from ship to ship transfers to ship repairs and warm layups.
“Apart from the regular car transshipment vessels, there is a vessel requiring Ship to Ship transfer (STS) operations and a ship belonging to the Sri Lanka navy amongst the six vessels currently berthed in the harbor,” the statement said.
“Whilst their volume of RORO (roll-on, roll-off) vessels handled had increased by 136 percent, the services provided by the port has pushed its activities, which were previously centered around RORO and passenger ship operations, to bulk, break-bulk, ship supply services, repairs and layups.”
The varied services offered include a warm layup for drillship ‘Aban Abraham’ in port for a period of six months, a hot layup for oil tanker ‘Champion Express’, and a ship to ship transfer operation for mv ‘Orchid’.
Loading and unloading operations for RORO vessels ‘Glovis Siris’ and ‘Glovis Champion’ are also going on as well as a familiarization and operational requirement for the Sri Lankan naval vessel ‘Saurala.’