The Sri Lankan Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP) in the South Harbour includes the building of 6.8 km of additional breakwater and an 18 m harbour basin, with a 20 m approach channel which is almost complete and which is expected to be formally opened in July this year.
In addition, the CPEP will include three container terminals, each having the capacity to handle 2.4m teu once completed.
The first phase of US$400m Colombo South Terminal comprising an initial 360 m berth equipped with modern handling equipment including quay cranes, has already been completed and is expected to be officially opened in April this year. This will be followed by a further 240 m of quay by the end of next year and a further 600 m will be operational by April 2014. At this time the full 1,200 m long container terminal, with a water depth alongside of 18 m, will provide an annual throughput capacity of 2.2m teu.
The South Container Terminal project is funded by the Hong Kong-based China Merchants Holdings (85%) and SLPA (15%).
BOT bids for the next two phases, comprising the East and West terminals, both of which will also have 1,200 m of quay, are to be invited at a future date and the latest news is that SLPA is planning to call for international tenders for the construction of the second terminal by 2017 depending on the demand forecast