Sri Lanka - හම්බන්තොට ජාත්යන්තර වරාය
Hambantota International Port is a part of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. This runs through China’s coast through to the Suez Canal and on to Europe. Construction started in 2008 with majority funding by the Chinese government. Issues have been raised as to viability of the project given the current operations of the Port of Colombo. The port is operated by the Hambantota International Port Group. It is a private limited liability company responsible for the managing and operating of the port. The first phase of the project is for two 600 metre general purpose berths as well as facilities for Liquid Petroleum Gas. A free port zone is planned for the location.
Hambantota International Port is located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. It was constructed with the intention of becoming a world-class port that would be able to compete with some of the biggest and most advanced ports in the world. However, the port has been plagued with issues since its inception.
The construction of the port, which began in 2008, was marked by a lack of planning and foresight. The port was built in a remote location, far from any major cities or industrial centers. This has made it difficult for the port to attract the kind of traffic it needs to be financially viable.
Poor facilities at Hambantota International Port
The facilities at the port are also not up to the standards required to make it competitive in the global market. The equipment is outdated and not capable of handling the large volumes of cargo that modern ports deal with. The infrastructure surrounding the port is also lacking. It has poor road and rail links making it difficult to transport goods to and from the port.
The port has been subject to criticism from various sources, including the International Crisis Group. They have expressed concerns about the potential environmental impact of the project. The location of the port has also been a matter of controversy. Some arguing that it is not a natural deep-water port and therefore not well-suited for large container ships.
Additionally, the construction and development of the port has been plagued by delays and cost overruns. Some have criticized the Chinese government for using the project as a means of extending its influence in the region. Rather than focusing on the needs of Sri Lanka and its people.
Problems attracting shipping lines at Hambantota International Port
In terms of its operational capabilities, the port has been reported to have experienced some difficulties in attracting large-scale shipping lines. Some companies expressing concerns about the port’s infrastructure and its ability to handle large container ships.
Furthermore, there have been concerns about the economic viability of the project. Some arguing that the port may struggle to generate sufficient revenue to pay off its debts. This has raised concerns about the potential for the Sri Lankan government to default on its loan payments to China, potentially leading to a debt crisis.
Overall, while the Hambantota International Port may have some strategic and economic benefits for Sri Lanka. It is not without its challenges and drawbacks. The project has been subject to criticism and controversy, and its long-term success and viability remain uncertain.