The Sri Lankan government is to looking to attract overseas involvement in the running of two new port terminals.
It has called for international expressions of interest for joint venture partners to operate a deepwater container terminal at Colombo port and to operate a roll-on roll-off berth at southern Hambantota, where vehicle transhipment is growing fast.
Minister of ports and shipping Arjuna Ranatunga has proposed a formal request for proposals from parties interested in operating the East Container Terminal of the New Colombo South Harbour as a joint venture with a shipping company or a private terminal operator.
State-owned Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) will retain 51% ownership of the joint venture, a statement said. The first stage of the terminal is nearing completion.
New Colombo South Harbour is the only port in south Asia with the draught and gantry cranes that can handle ultra-large container carriers.
Ranatunga has also proposed calling for expressions of interest and issuing a request for proposals from interested parties to operate the multipurpose berth of Hambantota port as a joint venture with a ro-ro fleet or terminal operator.
“Ships can easily reach east African countries and Western Australia directly from Hambantota port, which is situated between Singapore and Dubai, two key vehicle reshipping centres close to Sri Lanka,” the statement said.