The Eastern Terminal of Colombo Port, which is presently under construction, will be operated entirely by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and will not be handed over to the private sector, Minister of Ports, Shipping and Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva confirmed after an inspection tour of the ECT Terminal.
The Minister said despite the irresponsible claims of some Trade Unions and individuals that the terminal will be privatised, the SLPA will complete the construction by 2024 using the resources available to them.
He also said there are no plans to postpone construction for any reason, as this terminal will be able to handle more containers than at present. He said as a more efficient port, this will increase container operations in Colombo Port and contribute more to the national economy.
“However, some trade unions have said the Government intends to sell the Eastern Terminal to the private sector, despite my promise to keep it under SLPA supervision,” he said.
When completed, the existing terminal will be 1,200 metres long. It has an 18-metre deep terminal edge. Secretary to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Aviation K.D.S. Ruwan Chandra, Advisor to the Minister A.D.S. Indrasekara, Deputy Chairman of SLPA Gayan Alawattage, and other senior officials were also present.