The Colombo Port recorded the highest ever annual cargo throughput in its history during 2008. According to the Performance Report 2008 of the Ports and Aviation Ministry, the total cargo tonnage handled at the Colombo Port during 2008 was 30,923,831 tons (including containerised cargo), an increase of 6.7 percent compared to 28,984,807 tons of total cargo tonnage handled in 2007.
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) handled the highest ever container volume-TEUs (Twenty-foot equivalents)in 2008 recording a throughput of 1,960,898 TEUs, an increase of 6.9 percent compared to 1,834,734 TEUs in 2007. The Colombo Port generated an operating profit of Rs.3,613 million in 2008. The Government has taken several measures to develop the Colombo Port under the Colombo Port Expansion Project (CPEP). The main construction of this project commenced on April 11, 2008.
The construction includes the construction of Breakwaters, dredging up to 18 metres and a channel up to 21 metres. The total estimated cost of the project is U$$ 345 million, a spokesman for the Ports and Aviation Ministry told Daily News Business.
He said the CPEP will be a boost to uplift Sri Lanka s shipping industry and is the most important project to improve the facilities at the Colombo Port.
With terrorism eradicated Sri Lanka has been vying for hub status in the Asian maritime industry supported by its strategic location on the world map between the East and the West, he said.
Construction work on the breakwater at Lord Out Point (LOP) and quay wall at Wadduwa for transportation of quarry materials under the CPEP was completed during 2008.
The volume of rock at LOP was184,313 tons and 130,156 tons had been stock piled in Colombo. During 2008, the project also completed the construction of rock core of the breakwater up to 135 metres. The Environment Monitoring Plan was also implemented.
The CPEP has also completed rock transportation of 0.2 million and dredging and reclamation work of 4.86 million during 2008, he said.