Hong Kong’s China Merchants International is preparing to sign a deal with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority to build, operate and transfer a terminal in Colombo.

The new terminal would be an addition to the state-owned Unity and Jaya Terminals as well as the privately owned South Asia Gateway. It would also allow space for two future same-size container terminals, according to the developers.

The harbour to accommodate the terminal is under construction with the 2,000m breakwater and access channel dredging expected to finish in March.

The work will be followed by construction of the south container terminal featuring a quay length of 1,200m with a 18m depth berth and fitted with ULCS-sized equipment and capable of handling 2.4 million TEU annually.