Consultancy Service for Feasibility Study for Colombo North Port Development Project

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General Daya Ratnayake, Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) (L) and Ralph Lionel Phillips, Regional Director, authorized representative of AECOM Infrastructure & Environment UK Limited (R). Also present are Mrs. Shirani Wanniarachchi, Director (Finance) SLPA and Peter Neville Jones, Technical Director of AECOM Infrastructure & Environment UK Limited.

Development of Port of Colombo has focused on the demand for container transshipment and related logistics businesses instead of growth of domestic market. As the Port of Colombo is situated in the commercial city of Colombo, finding area for container transshipment and logistic development is a challenging issue for the port industry.

The South Port of Colombo has planned to cater the container transshipment demand from the Indian sub-continent and having any other commodity terminal services in the South Port of Colombo is inappropriate.

As the energy demand of the country increases rapidly with the large developments taking place in the Colombo city, the requirement of a terminal facility for the importation of liquefy Natural Gas to Colombo sounds a mandatory requirement. Further, considering the gas ships require a sheltered area, and the berth occupancy and usage in the existing Port of Colombo is already congested and the demand to have another sheltered area adjoining to port of Colombo is in discussion.

The South Port of Colombo predominately focuses for transshipment and domestic container handling. The capacity of Port of Colombo within the existing breakwaters is around 12 million TEU per annum. The extension of West Container Terminal brings the capacity of Port of Colombo at the range of 15m TEU. This has been planned for next 10 years for which feasibility study and detailed technical study have been completed and ready to implement.

SLPA need long term plans for next 30 years to enhance additional capacity need for container handing capacity of around 35m TEU. In consideration of these issues, Sri Lanka Ports Authority has planned to develop a new port, the Colombo North Port, in the northern side of the existing Port of Colombo. The proposed Colombo North Port may spread from the Kelani River in the Modara area, up to the existing northern breakwater of the Colombo Port.

SLPA intends use the proposed Colombo North Port for liquid bulk, dry bulk, Ro Ro and containers. The North Port has been planned to implement in stages depending on the demand. SLPA focused to provide infrastructure facilities and port servicers well ahead of the demand.

Accordingly, SLPA has planned to do a feasibility study for the Colombo North Port Development Project focused on expanding capacity of container handling while serving all other port servicers expected from industry.

Under the ADB funded Transport Project Preparatory Facility, SLPA had a portion to use for the feasibility study related to the proposed Colombo North Port Project. The duration of the study is expected to be 15 months.

SLPA has initiated the procurement process through Expression of Interest and subsequently the Request for Proposal and selected the consultant for the feasibility study for the Colombo North Port Development Project.

Accordingly, with the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers, SLPA has signed the agreement with AECOM Infrastructure & Environment UK Limited on February 20, 2020. The project has also received the guidance of the Minister of Ports and Shipping, Johnston Fernando and State Minister of Port Development Affairs, Kanaka Herath.

The agreement was signed by General Daya Ratnayake, Chairman of SLPA, Capt. Athula Hewavitharana, Managing Director of SLPA and Ralph Lionel Phillips, Regional Director, authorized representative of AECOM Infrastructure & Environment UK Limited. Further, Peter Neville Jones, Technical Director of AECOM Infrastructure & Environment UK Limited also participated in the event.