China firm proposes US$200mn cargo services centre in Colombo Port

Colombo International Container Terminal, a unit of China’s CM Ports group has proposed a 200 million US dollar cargo services centre inside Colombo Port, cabinet spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwelle said.

“We believe that we can make our country a shipping hub with its geographical location,” Minister Rambukwelle said.

“So in order to gain a considerable amount of market share in Asia, there are a few shortcomings. There is a need to invest to clear the shortcomings. We expect an investment of around 200 million dollars for this.”

The cabinet of ministers had cleared a request by the Minister of Shipping to set up a Cabinet Appointed Negotiations Committee to evaluate the proposal.

CICT has proposed setting up the centre in a 5.3-hectare plot in the Battenberg area of the Colombo South Harbour as a public-private partnership, a statement from the state information office said.

With the building of Colombo East Terminal and Colombo West Terminal, Colombo Port’s throughput is expected to go up to 10 million twenty-foot equivalent units by 2023, raising the demand for cargo services.

The Bloemendal area and also the Unity Container Terminal areas have been identified for value-added services.