Sri Lanka has begun the first phase of its $1.5bn Hambantota Port in the southern part of the country.
The port, which has a capacity of 80,000t, will annually handle 2,500 ships in the first phase and expects to reach 20 million teu after the completion of its final phase.
The first phase includes the construction of two breakwaters, the excavation of a basin area, the dredging of a 210m-wide entrance channel and the construction of a service berth.
The first phase received a $425m loan from China.
The second phase, worth $600m, will include a container terminal and is scheduled to be completed by 2014.
Following the completion of the third phase, which will contain a dockyard, the port will operate 33 vessels at a time, according to The Hindu.