Sri Lanka’s announcement that it plans to develop Trincomalee as an “industrial harbour” and can quickly float tenders for this might see the economically beleaguered nation put up a few thousand hectares of land on lease to arrange industries in a particular financial zone and the related improvement of the strategically positioned port, stirring up geopolitical curiosity in that a part of the Indian Ocean.
“We are literally planning to go for an Expression of Curiosity (EoI)to develop Trincomalee Port as an industrial port. Which means we will likely be asking not solely from one get together, however whoever the industrialists are who need to come and utilise the port premises. We’ve got massive land, some 2,400 hectares, that surrounds the port of Trincomalee,” Prasantha Jayamanna, chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority stated on Tuesday.
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Jayamanna was talking to representatives of delivery corporations and port employees’ unions to allay considerations concerning the slowing down of loading and offloading operations at Colombo Port — a serious regional transhipment hub — because of a overseas change scarcity that has resulted in gas shortage and affected provide chains.
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The proposal to develop an industrial harbour in Trincomalee is a long-standing plan to monetise land that belongs to the Sri Lanka Port Authority, by getting overseas and native funding for a particular financial zone, an industrial park, or an power hub.
This may additionally entail the event of the port for non-containerised cargo visitors, equivalent to cement, coal or different industrial uncooked materials.
“We’re planning to name for EoIs quickly. We had deliberate to do that in April, however delayed it until the state of affairs [improved], as a result of we count on loads of native industries to additionally come and spend money on the port,” Jayamanna stated.
Jayamanna had made related remarks in January this yr. It’s unclear when SLPA will act on its intentions. India, which has already made a considerable funding in Trincomalee, is prone to have an interest within the proposal each as a business challenge and as a strategic funding, a supply in Sri Lanka stated.
Earlier this yr, Lanka Indian Oil Firm, a subsidiary of Indian Oil Firm, and Ceylon Petroleum Company signed an settlement to develop an enormous oil storage tank farm constructed throughout British rule at Trincomalee. The oil storage facility is positioned on the harbour and has its personal jetty. The 2 entities have shaped a particular objective three way partnership referred to as Trinco Petroleum Terminals Ltd for the event of 85 tanks — all in decrepit situation.
Trincomalee already has a number of devoted port terminals — other than the Lanka IOC facility, it has the Tokyo Cement facility, and grain facility for a flour manufacturing facility, and a tea terminal. There’s additionally a jetty for bulk cargo equivalent to coal, gypsum and cement.
Apart from India, the event of Trincomalee port has been of curiosity to a number of nations, together with Japan and the US. It supplied not simply one among Asia’s most interesting pure harbours, however was additionally seen as a method to steadiness China’s affect within the nation, and dominate the martime commerce routes within the area by means of its involvement in Colombo port for container visitors and Hambantota port for cargo. Japan commissioned 2020 ADB research on the event of Trincomalee port.
There have been questions if Sri Lanka wanted multiple port, particularly, as Hambantota, which was developed with Chinese language monetary help as a cargo port has not taken off and its operations have remained beneath projections.
Nevertheless, the ADB research concluded that Trincomalee harbour, positioned on Sri Lanka’s japanese seaboard, with its key advantages of “pure deep water, shelter, distinctive vacationer locations and ample land for industrial and logistics within the proximity of the port” was ideally positioned to service the projected development of maritime cargo commerce within the area, particularly with regard to improvement of ports in Bangladesh and Myanmar and on India’s japanese sea board.