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Colombo Port terminal: India losing interest as investment bids gather dust

Colombo Port terminal: India losing interest as investment bids gather dust
Three Indian companies had bid for a 20 percent stake in developing the half built East Container Terminal at the Colombo Port, but there has been no response for nearly six months, diplomatic sources said yesterday.

The Ports Authority called for Expressions of Interest (EoI) totaling $400 million in June last year, to complete the half built East Container Terminal ,which in its present form has a 440 meter long 18 meter deep quay wall, a 20 hectares yard area and connected facilities which had cost over $80 million.

The proposed 1,200 meter project when completed, would make the ECT two meters deeper.

The Colombo Port was a transshipment hub for around 75 percent of Indian exports and imports the sources said. “Inordinate delays could lead to Indian States going ahead with calls from its shipping companies to develop their own deep sea ports, to the detriment of Sri Lanka.”

At the time the EoI was announced, former Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said that the Government was looking for an investor who should come in with a shipping operator from India, Pakistan or Bangladesh.

The Port of Colombo, currently handles over five million containers a year.


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