Sri Lanka has the actually largest port under construction

Sri Lanka has the actually largest port under construction

A very important regional development is on way in Sri Lanka. It is the largest 21st century port with office complexes, ultimate logistics facilities and also a new airport and an extensive tax free zone in Hambantota, located strategically on the main shipping routes between East and West and as prerequisite served the modern ports of Singapore, Dubai and Salalah in Oman

The project is a bit gigantesque with a new deep water port, an international airport, central business district and residential and commercial complexes. Various investors from Hong Kong are teaming up with the local authorities.

The master plan for the greater Hambantota covers 112’000 hectares or two percent of the Sri Lanka land area and was developed by the Government’s Urban Development Authority (UDA) and comprises also of an urban plan with commercial social, cultural and extensive residential and touristic developments. For the cluster development (port, airport, etc.) 48000 hectares have been allocated others are spared for residential and mixed development, heavy industries and coastal, cultural and eco tourism, all linked by modern road and railway network. The project’s reminder is aimed at tapping, increasing and managing water resources and to preserve the region’s elephants and wildlife.

The entire project is destined to create the region as “Gateway to Asia” and its protagonist aim at that Hambantota will play a similar role in the subcontinent as Hong Kong to China.

Phase I was completed in 2011 at a cost of USD 600 million and entailed the creation of the deep water harbor and four berths, two for general cargo and two for oil and gas. Also in 2011 phase II commenced at an estimated cost of USD 800 million and comprises the construction of sic more berths, two for general cargo, two main-line berths for containers and two small feeder berths also for containers. Construction should be completed by early 2015. Phase III and IV will add further container facilities and will be developed later. The port will have 11 kilometers of berths for 33 vessels at any given time and capacity for up to 20 million, twenty-foot equivalent units TEUs) per year. The airport and the 100 ha tax free zone on the north east side of the airport as well as a 140 ha area for hangars and other related industries and aircraft maintenance will cost USD 450 million and in the first phase the annual capacity will be for one million passengers, 45000 metric tons of cargo, 30000 aircraft movements and ten parking bays due to open late 2012.

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