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Sri Lanka’s Colombo Port needs US$1bn in investments: ADB

ECONOMYNEXT- The development of the port in Sri Lanka’s capital will require 1.03 billion rupees in investments until 2026, the Asian Development Bank said in a report released on February 10.

The investment required to complete and equip the Eastern Terminal will be 430 million US dollars, ADB said.

Last month, the government estimated a 500 million US dollar investment to equip the terminal, which would process 2.4 million containers annually.

President’s Secretary P B Jayasundera in December said the government was hoping for Japan and India to develop the East Terminal under a build-operate-transfer program.

At end-January, Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Daya Ratnayake said the Eastern Terminal would be operational in three months.

No investor has yet been found for the port, the ADB report said.

The Western Terminal with a capacity of 2.4 million containers, which the government is planning to construct, will require 600 million US dollars in investments as well, the Manila-based multilateral lender said.

The Eastern and Western Terminals fall under the Colombo Port Expansion Project, under which the Southern Terminal is already being operated in a BOT basis by the China-owned Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT).

China Merchants Port Holdings owns 85 percent of CICT, with investments of over 600 million US dollars.

The south terminal processed 2.9 million containers in 2019 , which was 40 percent of the total Colombo port volumes during the year, CICT has said.

Colombo is a transshipment port for the South Asian region.

Meanwhile, ADB said it will invest 200 million US dollars in a port and logistics development project, to enhance commercial operations of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, although funding may not be finalized.

“The project will meet the multimodal transport demands of the country’s imports and exports, expand capacity of the ports serving specific parts of the country, and enable the rehabilitation of port facilities and consider future port expansion.” (Colombo/Feb25/2020)

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