The terminals first 400 m long berth is equipped with three super post-Panamax gantry cranes and 10 RTGs, which were delivered in May.
Port Authority sources said that a 12,000 teu container vessel, the biggest boxship ever to call at a Sri Lankan harbour, entered Colombo Port to mark the opening of the first phase of the US$500m Colombo Port Expansion Project.
Further building work continues and it is expected that by the end of April 2014 the full 1,200 m long container terminal, with a water depth alongside of 18 m, will provide the port with an additional annual throughput capacity of 2.4m teu.Discussions between CICT and potential shipping line customers are said to be well advanced. CICT will have a significant competitive advantage as the only terminal in the Indian subcontinent region able to handle 18,000 teu container vessels.
The SLPA is now pressing on with construction of a second terminal in the South Harbour expansion zone, following approval by the Sri Lankan government. It is anticipated that the East Container Terminal will have one 400 m long berth ready for operations in 2014. In the longer term, the authority plans to complete the construction of Colombo East and West container terminals by 2020. Once both of these are in operation, the SLPA expects to be handling 10m teu annually.