Home / Front Page/ CASA optimistic about new deal for ECT, welcomes port expansion

CASA optimistic about new deal for ECT, welcomes port expansion

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Wednesday, 29 May 2019 01:49


The Ceylon Association of Shipping Agents (CASA) yesterday welcomed the proposed new revival deal for the East Container Terminal as part of the expansion of the Colombo Port. 

Minister of Ports and Shipping Sagala Ratnayaka at a recent inspection tour of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) emphasised on the importance of expanding the Colombo Port’s capacity to ensure its sustainable growth.

In a recent statement the SLPA said the envisaged partnership with Japan and India to develop the East Container Terminal (ECT) would help the Port of Colombo continue with its growth momentum and further improve its position. 

The three Governments are expected to sign a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) over ECT, through which SLPA asserted 100% ECT ownership will be retained with Sri Lanka. A Terminal Operations Company (TOC) is said to be formed to conduct ETC operations which will be jointly owned where Sri Lanka will retain 51% and the joint venture partners will purchase a 49% stake.

“SLPA going ahead to speed up the operationalisation of ECT is indeed heartening news to the maritime industry stakeholders in Sri Lanka,” CASA said. 

CASA had been stressing on the need for adding capacity at a brisk pace in order to retain Sri Lanka’s position as the Best Connectivity Port in South Asia. It is also a significant achievement as it is the first time in history that the Port of Colombo has topped a global maritime ranking. With this growth, the Port of Colombo has leapt ahead of many other Asian, Middle Eastern and European Ports.

The Port of Colombo recorded 13.5% growth in 2018 over the same period of the previous year, reaching 22nd from the position of 23rd amongst global container ports, according to Alphaliner Monthly.

“If this growth momentum continues, we can assume that all the terminals in Colombo will reach full capacity and therefore adding capacity at a brisk pace is the most crucial factor for Sri Lanka to retain its position as the Best Connectivity Port in South Asia,” CASA said. 

It emphasised that immediate measures should therefore be taken to operationalise the ECT which is designed as a deep water terminal. It is disappointing that no strategic decisions pertaining to the expansion of the Colombo Port’s capacity were made during the last few years despite the industry highlighting the urgency.

“The proposed arrangement made by SLPA is in indeed encouraging as the Ports Authority will retain control over the ECT whilst the foreign investment will expedite the operationalisation of the terminal,” CASA said. 

A second deep water terminal is a must for Colombo as it is facing the risk of losing cargo to regional competitors. As Sri Lanka gears up to become a regional hub, many other countries are turning to port development to accommodate growing volumes. India, for instance, has launched the Sagarmala initiative, a $ 126 billion port-led development project designed to address India’s capacity constraints. 

“Therefore this joint venture will bring the much-needed investment for ECT whilst retaining the control with the State-owned SLPA, promoting the national interest of Sri Lanka,” CASA added.


SL, India and Japan sign MoC to develop ECT

Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Economy, business community and the Prime Minister

Friday, 20 September 2019

The speech made by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Chief Guest of the Sri Lanka Economic Summit 2019 deserves very careful consideration by the country due to several reasons. This will no doubt be his last speech on economic policy to be

Sri Lanka needs to invest more on soft infrastructure

Friday, 20 September 2019

Developing countries like Sri Lanka will have to prepare for further downside risks in 2020 with the growing debt problems and the growth problems in Europe and the slowdown in Asia. Slower growth is already visible in weakening global trade and comm

Origins, rise and irrelevance of SLMC

Friday, 20 September 2019

Andreas Johansson’s ‘Pragmatic Muslim Politics: The Case of Sri Lanka Muslim Congress,’ Switzerland: Springer, 2019, is the latest piece of academic research on SLMC, based on Parliamentary Hansards, official party documents and information rec

Questions about Speaker’s candidacy for the presidency?

Friday, 20 September 2019

It is rather unfortunate that Mr. Karu Jayasuriya has issued a statement (17 September), as the Speaker, ‘that he is willing and ready to contest the Presidential Election, on the request of some organisations and individuals, including Maha Sangha

Columnists More