Located midway on the east-west sea route, the new port has world-class facilities and an 18-meter draft to handle even 18,000-TEU mega ships, as Sri Lanka hopes to become a major transshipment hub competing with Dubai and Singapore.
It is by far the single largest private foreign direct investment in Sri Lanka, said its developer, the Colombo International Container Terminal (CICT).
CICT is 85 percent owned by China’s state-run China Merchant Holdings International and 15 percent held by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).
The Colombo South Harbour Development, which consists of three independent dedicated container terminals, will create an additional capacity in three different phases of 2.4 million TEUs for each phase.
The Colombo South Container Terminal will be the first terminal to come on stream in the Colombo South Harbour project.
In April, the Colombo Port is due to open another mega terminal just next to it, with an initial capacity of about 800,000 containers a year, according to the SLPA.
The SLPA is reportedly making significant investments in local infrastructure in line with its newly launched vision for 2020 that aims to raise the country’s box-processing capacity to 10 million TEUS and grow its revenue to $1 billion by 2020.