The Sri Lankan government has begun a major development project to further modernise its ports across the country in order to transform Sri Lanka into a maritime hub in the region.

As part of the project, the Port of Colombo, managed by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, will continue to develop its facilities for container handling by continuous addition of capacity, advanced handling and processing technology, the government information department said in a statement, reported Xinhua.

“The development of the East Container Terminal (ECT) at the Port of Colombo will be followed by the West Container Terminal (WCT 1 and 2) ahead of demand,” said Sirimevan Ranasinghe, secretary to the ministry of ports and shipping and western development. “The ECT and the South Asia Gateway Terminal will be expanded to create an ultra large container terminal, expanding the total capacity to 35 million TEUs in the coming years.”

Mr Ranasinghe said out of the six main ports in the country, Port of Colombo, Hambantota Port in the south and Trincomalee Port in the east have become the focal point for future development as far as international shipping and logistics are concerned.

He noted that the port’s geographical positioning helps it to offer numerous services such as port services, maritime services and integrated logistics, as well as port related industries such as light, general or heavy industries along with community development.