The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) have signed an agreement on a $500m project to jointly build the East Container Terminal (ECT) of Colombo Port through public-private partnership (PPP).
The project will involve building and rendering operational the existing 400m of deep water berth as well as designing, constructing, financing and maintaining the remaining 800m of berth.
ADB country director for Sri Lanka Sri Widowati said: "The terminal will maintain Colombo Port’s strategic position as a key trans-shipment hub for global and regional trade.
"The project will bring leading operations and technology from the private sector to improve the port’s value proposition to global shipping lines and increase its market share in the global trans-shipment market."
The project had witnessed an investment of $80m by the SLPA and a $300m credit by ADB in 2008 to assist the construction of the breakwater of the Colombo Port.
ADB office of PPP head Ryuichi Kaga said: "ADB will advise SLPA in developing a bankable PPP structure and organising a competitive tender process to select the private sector partner.
"A transparent competitive tender process is expected to deliver the best value for SLPA for the construction and operations of the terminal and can help create a new template for structuring and delivering PPPs in Sri Lanka."
The Colombo Port project was evolved in 2014 which was kept on a hold till the time the government gave a nod to its commencement by reducing the amount of land to be curved off the sea and without any part of this area granted to China on a freehold basis, as reported by portnews.ru.
Image: A view of the Colombo Port. Photo: courtesy of Asian Development Bank.