Maersk keen on Sri Lanka port container terminal

Denmark’s Maersk Group, which operates the world’s biggest container shipping line, is interested in developing a deep water terminal in Colombo’s new south port, a senior official said.

The group already has a stake in the island, having a stake in a private container terminal and its shipping line making regular calls at Colombo, said Julian Michael Bevis, senior director, group relations, South Asia, Maersk Group.

“The geographical position of this country is second to none with its location at the heart of the Indian Ocean,” he told a forum for visiting Danish investors interested in Sri Lanka.

“Provided the regulatory environment will allow it an unrivalled opportunity for businesses to work with the government to develop logistics and hub services in and around the India Ocean.”

The Maersk group was one of the firms which submitted expressions of interest for operating the East Container terminal of the South Harbour which has been put out for bidding by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

“Hopefully, we’ll get more involved in Colombo port and development of the fourth terminal,” Bevis said.

“Sri Lanka is enormously important as a transhipment hub not just for services in the Indian Ocean but for the whole of Asia and the Middle East.”

The group, which has interests in container shipping, terminal operations, oil and gas exploration and logistics, will also look at setting up support services in the island “subject to the regulatory environment,” Bevis said.

India and Sri Lanka were important markets for the Maersk Group, he said.

“All Maersk businesses either has an active presence or are beginning to look at this market.”

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