The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has announced that it has signed a deal with AECOM Infrastructure and Environment UK to conduct a feasibility study into the development of the Colombo North Port as it looks to expand the cargo handling capacity of the country.
The study, which is expected to take 15 months, is related to the expansion of container handling capacity at Colombo port. It will be funded by a portion of Asian Development Bank-funded Transport Project Preparatory Facility.
According to SLPA, it has been facing challenges of finding a location for container transshipment and logistics development at Colombo as the current port is situated in the commercial area of the city.
The proposed Colombo North Port may spread from the Kelani River in the Modara area up to the existing northern breakwater of the Colombo Port. SLPA intends to use the proposed port for liquid bulk, dry bulk, Ro Ro and containers.
Port of Colombo currently has a container handling capacity of 12m teu per year and SLPA is seeking a long-term plan for the next 30 years to boost the container handling capacity at the port to around 35m teu.
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.