China Merchants signs 35-year deal to run Colombo terminal

Time:2009-12-10 Browse:62 Author:RISINGSUN

HONG KONG`s China Merchants (Holdings) International (CMHI), a major operator of container terminals, is about to sign a 35-year deal to built, operate and transfer a terminal for the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), reports the Paris-based Alphaliner consultancy.
The project will also allow space for two future same-size container terminals, but there are no concrete plans to build them. The new facility is in addition to the state-owned Unity and Jaya Terminals and the privately owned South Asia Gateway.
CMHI`s local partner, Aitken Spence, was the only other bidder. An earlier round of bidding during the container boom, had elicited greater response, but the bidding was cancelled by the port authority midway through. CMHI was reported to have improved its earlier terms to the SLPA, which allowed the deal to go through.
The construction of a harbour to accommodate the terminal is under way with the 2,000-metre breakwater and access channel dredging to be completed in March. The building of the south container terminal will start after that, with a quay length of 1,200 metres, offering a berth of 18 metres depth, fitted with ULCS-sized equipment and capable of handling 2.4 million TEU annually