Colombo's South Port developed under the Colombo Port Expansion Project will open next month.
Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd (CICT) will be the first terminal to come on stream in the Colombo South Harbour project. Equipped with the largest ever ship-to-shore gantry cranes in the Colombo harbour, it will be the first of four 1,200-metre long container terminals at the port with an investment exceeding US $ 500 million.
The project also included the construction of the 5.2km main breakwater, 1.6km kilometre sub breakwater, access roads and a light house.
The port will now be the only port in the South Asia region with a deep-water terminal able to handle the largest ships afloat.
The Colombo Port Expansion Project was launched in 2006 to cater for the increasing demands of services in the international shipping industry. Infrastructure works have been financed by the Asian Development Bank and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). The construction of the first terminal commenced in December 2011.
The project also involved dredging and breakwater construction sufficient to accommodate three terminals, to be constructed in different stages to double the container handling capacity sequentially, the establishment of a new marine operations centre, relocation of a submarine oil pipeline, provision of navigational aids and construction of shore utilities.
The operating company, China International Container Terminal (CICT) is a joint venture established between China Merchants Holdings International, Aitken Spence Plc and Sri Lanka Ports Authority for the design, construction and management of the Colombo South Terminal.
The Port of Colombo is the largest and busiest port in Sri Lanka.