The first container terminal to be built as part of the Colombo South Harbour Development project has finally been completed by China Merchants Holdings (International) Co. Ltd. (CMHI), following more than two years of development.
Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd (CICT), which opened to commercial shipping in August last year, is a joint venture between CMHI (85% ownership) and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (15% ownership) under a 35-year build, operate and transfer (BOT) agreement.
The container terminal is the first in Pakistan capable of handling 18,000 TEU vessels, boasting four berths and a capacity of 2.4 million TEU.
The construction of the new terminal, requiring an investment of around US$500 million, began back in December 2011, and not only represents the single largest direct investment by a foreign entity but the first of three phases to expand the Port of Colombo, which will see its capacity increased by a further 7.2 million TEU. A further two terminals, again with a capacity of 2.4 million TEU, will be built in the coming years.