India’s conglomerate Adani Group, Sri Lanka’s diversified company John Keells Holdings and Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) have signed an agreement to jointly develop the Colombo West International Container Terminal (CWICT) of the Port of Colombo (POC).

Adani
Photo: SLPA

The build-operate-transfer (BOT) agreement worth more than $700 million is said to be “the largest foreign investment ever” in the port sector of Sri Lanka.

The period of agreement, which was signed on 30 September, is 35 years.

The CWICT project will add more than 3 million annual TEU capacity to the Port of Colombo.

With the signing of the agreement, and the massive development thereafter, the Port of Colombo is expected to further enhance its reputation as an international hub port.

SLPA believes that this will strengthen cooperation between regional economies. The port sector and the strengthening of the country’s national economy will also benefit from this investment.

The Colombo Port is primarily a container port. The original port had a harbour area of 184 hectares. In 2008, the South Harbour area (285 hectares) was developed to accommodate deep-water berths and the latest generation of mainline vessels. The harbour is served by a two-way channel with an initial depth of 20m and a width of 570m.

In addition to the container terminals in the original port area, SLPA planned to develop three terminals (each having capacity of 2.4 million TEU) in the South Harbour, the first of which was built and in operation on a build operate-transfer (BOT) basis by Colombo International Container Terminals Limited (CICT), a joint venture company of China Merchants Holding (International) Co. Ltd and SLPA.

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