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Indian rival port action sparks ministerial push to enlarge Colombo


SRI LANKAN Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has said there will be movement in upgrading Colombo's Jaya Container Terminal in the face of direct competition from India ports.

The immediate aim of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is to make the terminal ready to handle bigger ships in the face of Colombo's growing role as an international east-west transshipment hub.

Colombo faces increasing competition from rapidly upgrading Indian ports ready for direct calls from major carriers and also from the potential threat they pose of developing into transshipment hubs in their own right.

Colombo is commonly used for west bound traffic from the east coast of India, and for east bound traffic from the west coast of India, as well as a pickup and delivery point to and from India to and from Europe and the Far East.

The SLPA earlier initiated extension of the berth at Jaya Container Terminal to enhance the capacity of the port to accommodate mega container carriers now in operation, reported Colombo's Lankan Business Online.

The extension was expected to berth two 8,000-TEUer simultaneously at JCT III and JCT IV. The terminal now has four container main berths and two feeder berths with 45.5 hectares of backup land and 12 to 15 metres alongside.

Colombo handled 75 per cent of transshipment and 25 per cent of domestic cargo few years ago and the transshipment volume has increased to 80 per cent at present.

Source: Schednet

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