ADB to provide US$ 225 million for Colombo Port expansion project [Friday , September 08, 2006- 5.10 GMT]

COLOMBO: The ADB will provide US$ 225 million for the construction of the long-awaited Colombo Port expansion project, which would boost the country's economy tremendously, Central Bank Governor and Economic Advisor to the President Ajith Nivard Cabraal said.

Cabraal said following discussions with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees yesterday, the visiting ADB Vice-President Liqun Jin, signed a MoU to provide finances upto US$ 225 million for the construction of the Colombo port with Ports and Aviation Minister Mangala Samaraweera.

He said to make Colombo Port the South Asian hub port and the gateway to South Asian shipping, the government carried the onus of expanding the Southern Colombo terminal, to enable deep-draft vessels enter the Colombo Port, after 2010, and be on par with international shipping trends.

"There should be provision for manoeuvrability and safe entry into Colombo Port for new ships built after 2010. To this end, dredging and construction of a new breakwater is inevitable. US$ 225 million would be provided for the breakwater construction at the initial stage by the ADB, and the construction work would be undertaken by the government," Cabraal said.

The first phase is estimated to cost around US$ 615 million, including the breakwater, dredging works, and construction of the first terminal. A private-public partnership is also envisaged in the future.

The ADB is impressed and confident of Sri Lanka's vibrant economic policies and the first quarter economic growth of eight per cent for 2006, Cabraal added. The project is viewed as an essential pre-requisite for poverty alleviation, employment generation and a general boom in the economy.

The country's export competitiveness is also expected to get a shot in the arm and the shipping fraternity is also expected to reap immense benefits from the project.

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Last Updated Date: September 08, 2006 -5.10 GMT

 
 


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