SLPA mulls bond issue to raise development funds
The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) is still repaying its loans that
were taken ten years ago and this is severely affecting their
bottomline, SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath Wickrama said.
Speaking to Daily News Business in Hambantota he said the SLPA made a
Rs 4,350 million profit last year but due to the heavy repayments this
did not reflect positively on the institution. He said that in addition,
they are also facing an ‘exchange’ loss due to currency fluctuations.
The loan was obtained in Yen.
The administrative building of the
Ruhunu Magampura Port that is being constructed at the
moment. Picture by Sumanachandra Ariyawansa
The Chairman said that due to this they have decided to do future
borrowings only in US dollars.
He said they are looking at going for a bond issue to raise funds for
future developments in the SLPA.
Commenting on the last few years of operations he said they have
introduced a voluntary retirement scheme and adopted several other
meaningful steps in a bid to curtail expenditure.
The revenue of the Port which was at Rs 25 billion in 2008 increased
to 32 billion in 2009. “Within a period of ten years we have increased
revenue by Rs 10 billion,” he disclosed.
Commenting on the Ruhunu Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port he said
that it would generate a revenue of over US $ one billion and generate
over 2,000 employment opportunities within 24 months. He said that for
the first time in Sri Lanka the Hambantota harbour will export sugar and
cement to the Asian market with two Pakistan and Indian companies doing
value addition in Sri Lanka.
“In addition one of the world’s biggest petrochemical plan’s will
open next year at the Port,” he said.
He said that with their concept of a Free Port they opened out
Hambantota to the world market and was very happy with the response they
are getting. “This Port will prove to be a viable venture in three
years,” he said.
Meanwhile the tallest building in the Southern Province the
administrative building will open in August next year bringing all
operations of the Port under one roof.
This 15-storey building complex will facilitate the administrative
and engineering divisions of the Hambantota Port. Overlooking the
Hambantota coastline, the building is situated inside the port premises,
within 500 metres from the docks.
Tanya and Suren Wickramasinghe are the architects of the project.