“There has been a request to construct a dockyard,” Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lanka’s Shipping and Aviation Minister said, adding that “big investors” had already expressed interest in the Hambantota Port.
The proposed vessel repair centre is under consideration alongside plans to develop the Port of Hambantota into a regional transhipment and Ro-Ro hub. The SLPA has commissioned a number of feasibility studies and has issued a formal request for proposals (RfP) on a joint venture basis.
“After the elections are over, and following discussions with the President and the Prime Minister, we will take forward these developments,” Ranatunga added.
Sri Lanka has been a major focus for port investment following China’s declaration that it would invest $1.4 billion to create a mega port complex at Colombo Port City in the island’s capital as part of its Maritime Silk Road initiative.
Planned expansion at the port is set to create a total of four new terminals with 3 berths each and 1,200m length. The largest of these will be the 2.4 million TEU Colombo South Container Terminal, built by Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd., (CICT), a joint venture Company between China Merchants Holdings International (CMHI) and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).
The latest government RfP calls for joint venture partners to in manage the East Container Terminal which is currently under construction at the new Colombo South Harbour.