East Container Terminal at Colombo inaugurates operations with arrival of first ship

Marking another significant step in the journey to make Sri Lanka’s Ports System the shipping hub in Asia, the East Container Terminal ( ECT) of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has inaugurated its container operations Tuesday, 27 October 2020 with the arrival of the first container carrier ship.

The inauguration ceremony was held this morning under the patronage of Minister of Port and Shipping Rohitha Abeygunawardena. The State Minister of Warehouse Facilities, Container Yards, Port Supply Facilities and Boats and Shipping Industry Development, Jayantha Samaraweera, Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman General Daya Ratnayake were also present.

The arrival of the first container carrier to the East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Port of Colombo marks another milestone in the unfinished journey of making the Sri Lankan port system the maritime hub of Asia, the SLPA said.

Accordingly, the MSC EMMA, the first container ship to sail from the African continent to China, arrived at the Eastern Container Terminal today for its container operations.

The Eastern Container Terminal of the Port of Colombo was completed in 2015 under the Mahinda Chinthana Vision of the previous Rajapaksa government.

Although the terminal was able to make a huge contribution to the Sri Lankan economy through import, export and re-export activities, it was unable to contribute to the national economy due to the chaotic administration of the previous government, according to a press release issued by the media unit of Minister of Ports and Shipping.

Although the construction of the 450-meter-long terminal was completed in 2015 as the first phase of the project, operations did not commence for five years at the Eastern Container Terminal and operations using cranes for the JCT 5 terminal began recently.

As the second phase of the project, a new terminal with an extension of another 600 meters is planned to be constructed in the near future, in parallel construction work on the 5th phase of the JCT terminal is scheduled to begin soon.

Speaking on the occasion, the Minister of Ports and Shipping, Hon. Rohitha Abeygunawardena said, “These development projects were neglected during the previous government of good governance and the present Government wants to make Sri Lanka a naval hub in Asia through the rapid pace of realizing its vision of prosperity.