Seven board members from the Asian Development Bank visited the Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP) on 29 October 2012. The delegation consisted of Maurin Sitourus, Ashok K. Lahir, Kazuhiko Koguchi, Jerome Destombes, Richard Edwards, Khin Khin Lwin and Wilson Kamit.
Ranjith Pemasiri, Secretary of the Ministry of Ports and Highways, Anuradha Wijekoon, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Ports and Highways, Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama, Chairman of SLPA, Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, Managing Director of SLPA, Susantha Abesiriwardana, Project Director CPEP and the Country Representative of the ADB Resident Mission accompanied them.
CPEP’s harbour infrastructure works consist of the construction of the 5.14km long main breakwater, construction of a 1.1km long secondary breakwater, dredging for a two-way access navigational channel and re-routing of the crude oil pipeline.
The CPEP was jointly funded by Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) with a total cost of US$ 385 million. The new terminals being built at the CPEP are capable of facilitating the largest container ships expected to be in operation in the near future.
At present, the first container terminal of the project under public-private partnership namely the South Container Terminal is under construction whilst the operations of the part of the terminal are scheduled in the third quarter of next year.
The part of the East Container Terminal developed by SLPA will also be in operation by 2013. Meanwhile, the three container terminals planned here are scheduled to be completed by 2023, each with a 2.4 million TEU capacity. With the completion of CPEP, the total capacity of the port of Colombo will be increased up to 12 million TEUs.
The ADB board members at the visit made an overall inspection of the CPEP which is one of the most successful development projects in Sri Lanka, completed in time and fulfilling conditions in the loan agreement reached in this regard between the Asian Development Bank and the Sri Lankan Government.
Furthermore, once completed, CPEP yields promise returns to uplifting the economy of the country in all sectors. The loan extended by the ADB here is also the single largest loan given to a mega development project in Sri Lanka.
Source: ft.lk, October 31, 2012; Images: slpa.lk