The Rs 193 billion (US$ 1.4 billion) Hambantota Port Project requires a further US$ 600 million (Rs 90,612 million)* to make it viable, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake said.
Speaking at a forum in Colombo recently, he said that the current annual loan repayment of Rs 9.1 billion on the Rs 193 billion Hambantota loan would double to Rs 18 billion in another three years’ time.
Dissanayake said, that since its commissioning at the…… end 2011, till last year end, the Hambantota Port had made a Rs 46.7 billion loss. The total loss made by the Port last year was Rs 11 billion.
He said that in 2015 only 19 ships docked at Hambantota, while in the first half of the year only 10 ships had docked. This compares with a total of 2,821 ships that had docked in the country in the first seven months of the year. The Government is currently negotiating a $ 1.1 billion investment from China on a loan to equity swap to run the Hambantota Port. The forum was organized by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
*Conversions are made on the basis that the buying rate of the US dollar on Wednesday was Rs 151.02 to the dollar)