The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) will conduct a feasibility study into the development of the Colombo North Port, as it looks to substantially increase Sri Lanka’s capacity.
In a statement, the SLPA said it struck a deal with AECOM Infrastructure and Environment UK Limited on 20 February 2020 to study the project.
The project is central to the SLPA’s long term plan to increase the Port of Colombo’s annual capacity to 35 million TEU.
Capacity at the Port of Colombo is currently 12 million TEU but that is set to increase to 15 million once the West Container Terminal is completed.
Its South Port of Colombo is predominantly focused on transshipment and domestic container handling, however, according to the SLPA, it is congested.
The SLPA hopes that along with expanding its domestic shipping and logistics market, the Colombo North Port will also help Sri Lanka become a major trade point on the Indian Ocean. As well as containers, it will also be used for bulk, dry bulk ro-ro vessels.
Sri Lanka has become increasingly important to the shipping industry and has worked very closely with China in recent years to develop its infrastructure.
In July 2019, the government of Sri Lanka signed a deal with Japan and India to develop the Colombo South Port’s East Container Terminal.