China Merchant Port (CM Port) has released its final payment of US$ 584 million to secure its Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port concession for $976 million.
The payment by the Hong Kong-based shipping conglomerate, the single highest direct foreign investment received by Sri Lanka to date, was made to Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) after two previous payments in December 2017 and January 2018.
CM Port has agreed to deposit a further sum of $146 million for investing in port and marine related activities.
SLPA and the Sri Lankan government entered into the agreement with CM Port of Hong Kong in July last year for management, operation and development of Hambantota Port on Public Private Partnership model.
On December 9, 2017, two Sri Lankan companies established under the concession agreement, Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) and Hambantota International Port Services (HIPS), officially took over the Hambantota Port thereby making the concluded concession agreement effective.
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The two companies established in Hambantota will invest an additional $400 million to $600 million on phase I and II of the Hambantota Port.
These investments will attract many other foreign investors to the country, making Sri Lanka a pivotal maritime and logistics centre.
With transshipment volumes in the Port of Colombo during the first five months of 2018 as against 2017 increasing by 19.2% and Jaya Container Terminal managed by SLPA recording a transshipment growth of 21% during the aforesaid period.
During the year 2017, Port of Colombo was ranked as the 23rd largest Container Port and 13th best-connected port in the world.
SLPA also recorded a net profit of $193.9 million in 2017, as against a net profit of $14.7 million achieved in 2016.
Parakrama Dissanayake, Chairman SLPA, said: “CM Port is one of the most successful global companies in the ports sector, and their investment in the Port of Hambantota can be described as a credible vote of confidence in its potential as well as in the economy of Sri Lanka.”