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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Port at Hambantota opens for commercial operations

In villages,  they say that it is the neighbour who would benefit from a fruit bearing tree that is on the border fence. 

There are reports that passenger car exports from India increased 34.16% in May, riding on the back of robust overseas sales by Hyundai Motor, Nissan Motor and Toyota Kirloskar in non-European countries.  Quoting figures released by Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM),  it is reported that the volume of car exports have gone up in the last month as compared to the last year.   This comes as good news for the automobile industry facing slack trade in domestic market due to various factors including increased petrol prices. Hyundai has done increased volumes and that sounds music to the nearby island.

It is an island and its exports predominantly are - Textiles and apparel; tea and spices; diamonds, emeralds, rubies; coconut products, rubber manufactures, fish  - but more than its imports and exports, its strategic location in the Indian Ocean makes it a gateway port of trading to many Nations.   It is the island of Sri Lanka, known as Ceylon  until 1972.  Being an island offers strategic advantages and it has ports at Colombo, Trinconamalee, Galle, Point Pedro, Kankesanthurai, Oluvil – to that list got added a new one the port of Hambantota. 

Only recently, I posted about the stadium established in 2009 and having Ends named as :  Thanamalwila End, Sooriyawewa End; a place where India is to play the first ODIs in July 2012 – it is Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium at Hambantota, Sri Lanka.  Read :

This place, Hambantota, a coastal city in the south of Sri Lanka bore the brunt of 2004 tsunami.    ThePort of Hambantota (also known as the Magampura Port) was  opened in Nov 2010  with the first ceremonial berthing of the naval ship "Jetliner" to use the port facilities.   Hambantota Port is built inland and operated by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. It is the largest port at Colombo.  The Port of Hambantota is to  service ships traveling along one of world's most busiest shipping lines - the east-west shipping route which passes six to ten nautical miles (19 km) south of Hambantota.  This place historically was used by the Chinese and Arabian merchants as part of maritime silk route.  This port is set to exploit the strategic presence of island nation on the key shipping route between the Malacca Straits and the Suez Canal with more than 36000 ships including 4500 oil tankers taking this route annually.

Hambantota, has been conceived to relieve pressure on the Colombo port, and also provide services to ships that normally take three-and-a-half day detours from their shipping lanes to receive these services, including refueling, maintenance, logistics and buying provisions and medical supplies.  A $550 million tax-free port zone is being set up outside the port, with local and international companies expressing interest in setting up shipbuilding, ship-repair and warehousing facilities in the zone.

The Port named as ‘Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa (MRMR) International Port’  is in International Maritime news as transshipment operations commenced earlier this month [June 12].  The ship, Ellision Sun carrying 1,000 cars from Chennai, India berthed at the Chinese-built – the vehicles brought by the Ellision Sun  are to be transshipped to Algeria by the car carrier Asian Legend on June 15.  Earlier another vessel carrying fewer cars for transshipment also called at the Hambantota port.  Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) sources said more ships carrying vehicles are due to berth at this port shortly. The SLPA had decided to divert all vehicle shipments to the Hambantota port from May 31 as a measure to relieve the congestion at Sri Lanka's main port in Colombo. According to the Minister vehicles brought to the MRMR Port will qualify for a tax concession and the Port will also handle all customs clearance and reshipment work.  "This will also save a large sum of money owed to shipping firms as demurrage fees," the Minister has said

So, the Chinese built Port at Hambantota is bristling with activity and has the potential to harm the business of Chennai Port as this will reduce bigger ships calling at Chennai travelling all the way to Chennai, and preferring to take cargo more from the Hambantota port for logistical reasons. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.


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