The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) plans to start bunkering or ship fuel operations at Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port popularly known as Hambantota Port.
Tank farm which will include 8 tanks for marine fuel, 3 tanks containing aviation fuel and 3 for Liquid Petroleum Gas should be ready by April, SLPA said.
According to the SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama the Authority is planning to buy four self-propelled barges to start the bunkering facility in five months.
He said so delivering the annual P B Karandwala Memorial Lecture organized by the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport Sri Lanka to honour a key figure in ports and shipping in the island. The SLPA Chairman spoke on strategies for port related logistics development following the development of new ports in southern Hambantota and Colombo Port.
Dr. Wickrama said that the bunker sector will be closed to outside investors and the Port will handle the oil bunkering. However, other services including the bulk cargo handling, storage facility, warehouses, transshipment are open for foreign investments.
Hambantota Port, constructed inland close to a major shipping route six to ten nautical miles south of Hambantota is Sri Lanka's second largest harbor.
Meanwhile, Chinese Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) signed the contract on Hambantota Port Development Phase II Project with SLPA on December 31, 2010.
CHEC Ltd. signed on for the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) of the Hambantota Port, according to the CHEC website.
The contract value amounts to USD810 million with a construction period of 36 months.