Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hambantota Port work to be completed ahead of schedule

Architectural Design of Hambantota Port
Hambantota Port near the main shipping route across the Indian Ocean is part of a Chinese effort to enhance trade activities, news reports say.

It is being built mainly with a Chinese loan and by two Chinese construction firms. It is envisaged first as a bunkering facility and later a port for general cargo vessels and eventually to tranship containers.

Hambantota was chosen as the site for the new port because of its proximity to the main shipping lane across the Indian Ocean.

The report, "Joint Operating Environment 2008," was produced by the Norfolk-based U.S. Joint Forces Command, The Washington Times said. The Washington Times quated a US Chinese Embassy spokesman Wang Baodong said: "It's true that China is conducting cooperation with some Asian countries in various fields including ports developing, but it is justifiable business for China and the joint ventures are for commercial purposes only," Wang was quoted as saying. "People should see China's activities with a sensible and more balanced approach. As facts have proven, China's activities are for mutual benefit and peaceful purposes, constituting no threat to anyone else."

Construction work is ahead of schedule, Sri Lanka Ports Authority officials said.