*Hambantota harbour construction:
First phase complete in August
*Total cost US $ 360 million:
*First ship to arrive in November:
The first phase of the Hambantota harbour construction will be
completed by August this year and it will be followed by the process of
filling the harbour with sea water, Ports and Aviation Minister Chamal
The phase of the Hambantota harbour construction will cost US $360
The Ports and Aviation Ministry has scheduled to bring the first ship
into the harbour by November.
The Ministry has planned to export local products including sugar,
rubber and milk products by the first ship leaving the Hambantota Port,
Minister Rajapaksa added. At first the harbour will be filled with small
quantities of water to allow the public to wallow and enjoy in the water
as this is an opportunity once in a lifetime. After two months the
harbour will be filled with water up to the required water level and the
first ship will be navigated in, the Minister said.
The harbour is being constructed in three phases, the first phase is
to moor three ships at a time and the construction of two jetties.
Each jetty will be 310 metres long and deep enough to berth large
ships. The depth of the harbour from the sea level is 17 metres. The
deepest point in the Colombo harbour is said to be 15.5 metres.
“The largest ship in the world needs a 16.5 depth. Therefore
Hambantota harbour is deep enough for any ship in the world to berth,”
Ports Authority Chairman Dr Priyath Wickrama said.
The West and East breakwaters which have already been constructed for
the port are 988 metres and 312 metres long. A seventeen storeyed
building will also be constructed for administrative and operational
Around 3,000 hectares of the required land have been acquired. The
construction work on jetties and soil removing activities are going on.
It has been estimated that 17 million cubic metres of soil will have to
be removed from the site.
This soil will be used for constructing a small island just close to
the harbour. This island will be used as a tourist attraction. “This
biggest service and industrial port in the country is being constructed
closest to the international maritime route in Hambantota. It is the
nearest point to the main shipping route that connects East and West.
The region is also considered a better geographical location with fair
weather conditions and closer to deep contours for such constructions”
the Chairman added.
More than 25,000 direct employment and 200,000 indirect employments
will be generated within the next five years in the ports and shipping
sector, Dr. Wickrama further said.