Sept 02,Oluvil: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa Sunday declared open the new commercial and fishing port at Oluvil along with an ice manufacturing plant in the Eastern Province.
Speaking at the occasion President Rajapaksa said the Sri Lanka Ports Authority has been instructed to transform Sri Lanka into a potential maritime and logistics hub in the South Asian region under the Mahinda Chintana future vision forming excellent relationships with the giants in the emerging economic world.
Construction of the Oluvil Fishing Harbor, a port with two separate basins, one for commercial activities and one for the fishing industry, commenced in May 2008 under the Eastern Awakening (Nagenahira Navodaya) program.
The harbor was constructed at a cost of Rs. 7 billion by the Danish construction company MT HØJgaard.
Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) and the Danish construction company signed the Oluvil Port Project agreement to build the new harbor in Oluvil in March 2008 at a cost of Euro 46 million with the financial assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark (DANIDA).
The commercial port comprises 330 meters of quay with a water depth of 8 meters, and the fishing port comprises 200 meters of quay with a water depth of 3 meters, according to the company. The breakwater of the two harbors is 1475 meters long. New jetty of the Fishing Port is 260 meters and the jetty of the Commercial Port is 390 meters.
The fisheries harbor, consisting of ice plants, cold room facilities, storage facilities for fishing equipment, will service 500 boats at one time and could handle vessels with capacity of 50,000 metric tons.
The new commercial harbor with shore facilities will also cater to general cargo vessels that cater to the current needs of the region, including coastal passenger transport, with provision for expansion in the future, the government said.
The completion of the harbor is expected to boost economic infrastructure activities in the Eastern Province.
(Photos by Nalin Hewapathirana)