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Colombo Port container volumes rise 48% amidst its green port initiative with Chinese aid 

May 04, Colombo (LNW): In the wake of China’s assurance to assist Sri Lanka in transforming the Port of Colombo, which is currently operating as a global container port, into a green port, container handling at the port has risen near 50 per cent, Sri Lanka Ports Authority announced.   

The Port of Tianjin in China has expressed its willingness to assist in transforming the Port of Colombo, which is currently operating as a global container port, into a green port.

On 29 April, a special delegation led by the Chairman of the Tianjin Port visited the Minister at the Ministry’s office.

The Port of Tianjin, now ranked ninth in the global container port rankings, has joined other major container ports across the world in launching efforts to become green ports to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

According to the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), scientific consensus affirms that increasing industrialisation and the associated rise in global warming caused by CO2 emissions are significant causes of natural catastrophes caused by climate and weather changes across the world.

As a result, there is a suggestion to prioritise the use of green ammonia to reduce dependency on different fossil fuels.

During the discussion, the Minister reportedly thanked the team for assisting the Port of Colombo in its transition to a green port. He praised the Port of Tianjin for exporting the ‘Green Port Concept’ to other ports across the world, utilising China’s expertise as a leader in industrialisation and port operations.

The conversation also included the delegation’s interest in supporting future improvements at the Port of Galle, as well as their complete support for the Colombo North Port’s future development plans.

In March, the Port of Colombo witnessed an increase in transshipments by 29.1 per cent year-on-year (YoY) in February, marking the third consecutive month of growth.

The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) has reported a record 48 per cent year-on-year (YoY) rise in container volumes in the first quarter (Q1 2024).

The total grew from 441,032 to 652,766 TEU. SLPA ascribed this spike to a number of issues, including the Red Sea crisis and its broader ramifications.

SLPA’s transshipment throughput in the first three months of this year totalled 582,403 TEU, a 49.81 per cent increase over the same period last year.

This growth contributed to the Port of Colombo’s (POC) overall transshipment volume, which reached 1.72 million TEU in the first three months of this year, a 24.20 per cent increase over the same period in 2023.

Keith Bernard, Chairman of the SLPA, emphasised that the port is ready to become a vital transshipment hub for the Middle East, as many shipping lines reroute boats to avoid current concerns in the Red Sea and the Suez Canal.

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