Thursday, 2 January 2014 00:00
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) commenced the New Year 2014, offering priority to all religious activities at its Chaithya Premises and other religious centres within the port with the initiative of Minister of Highways, Ports and Shipping (Projects) Rohitha Abeygunawardena and the Chairman of SLPA Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama.
In an exclusive message at the occasion, Dr. Wickrama stated that it was momentous for SLPA to record a growth of 12.9% TEUs in transshipment operations from January to November last year compared to the same period of 2012.
SLPA has also shown a 1.5% growth in domestic operations making the total growth of 8.3 in TEU operations. The Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) of SLPA recorded 9884 TEU operations which was its highest ever operations within a day on 2 November 2013, whilst making the highest ever record of 235,750 TEU operations in one month in July last year. In the year 2013 SLPA took steps to attract container vessels belonging to seven major shipping lines at the JCT.
“We should appreciate the efficiency of all employees of SLPA including the staff and employees of the JCT for their dedicated performance to upgrade the productivity of all operations,” he stated.
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has taken all trends of the international maritime sector into serious consideration in making and developing its future plans and strategies. The Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP) was commenced as a fruitful measure in this regard and SLPA is working towards building its East Terminal to commence operations in the near future. Accordingly, a 400m terminal and a container yard facility will be constructed under phase I with a project cost of $ 80 million. The new terminal will be equipped with facilities to cater the largest and mega container vessels that would join the international maritime fleet during the coming years.
The internal access road network within SLPA is also being rapidly developed with six lanes from Gate No. 1 up to ‘Ingurukade’ Junction. At present constructions of the Unity Container Terminal has been accomplished with the aid of the Government of Japan. Initial plans to construct the 25-storied administration building for SLPA are also underway.
SLPA in its port city urban development plans and business diversification plans has also planned to construct a Colombo Port City Development Project filling a land area of 233 hectares in the ocean area in close proximity to the port premises.
With the facilities of international level mega shopping malls, hotels and housing facilities to be leased out on this new project SLPA expects to collect huge revenues towards national development.
Dr. Wickrama also stated that the SLPA has also taken steps to fully automate its transactions enabling its customers to obtain speedier services in all port activities.
Besides the development of the Port of Colombo, SLPA has also successfully launched the developments of Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port (MRMRP) in Hambantota, Galle Port development, Oluvil Port development and Trincomalee Port Development. In November last year the new fully fledged administrations building of MRMRP was also declared open by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. MRMRP at present is operating all RO-RO vessels to Sri Lanka. The port also will commence bunkering operations in the near future. All measures have successfully been taken to start several mega international export industrial sites also in the industrial zone of the new port.
Dr. Wickrama also conveyed his immense gratitude to President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the timely leadership and guidance extended in this regard and as the Minister of Highways, Port and Shipping as well as Minister of Highways, Port and Shipping (Projects) Rohitha Abegunawardena and the Secretary of the Ministry for all their dedicated assistance in making Sri Lanka the regional maritime hub in South Asia.
Secretary of the Ministry of Highways, Port and Shipping R.W.R. Pemasiri, Additional Secretary (Ports) Anuradha Wijekoon, Private Secretary to Minister of Highways, Port and Shipping Chandra Rajapaksa, SLPA Managing Director Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, SLPA Additional Director Janaka Kurukulasooriya, Directors of SLPA, heads of divisions, executive officers, union and staff members and large number of employees of SLPA were also present at the ceremony to mark the commencement of work of SLPA in the new year.