Sri Lanka’s China-backed Hambantota port volumes up 186-pct in 2021 first half

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Sri Lanka’s China-backed Hambantota Port said cargo volumes including vehicle transshipment and bulk cargo had grown 186 percent in the first half of 2021 from a year ago amid a Coronavirus crisis.

Total volumes at the port run by China’s CMPorts group in the first half of 2021 was 1,206,425 metric tonnes up from 420,421 metric tonnes a year ago. Liquid petroleum gas, marine gas oil and low sulfur oil volumes rose 20 percent to 215,094 metric tonnes from 179,151 metric tonnes.

Roll-on-roll-off (RORO) vehicle transshipment measured in metric tonnes grew to 72 percent 413,005 tonnes from 239,827 tonnes a year ago. Bulk cargo volumes grew to 578,327 metric tonnes from only 1,443 metric tonnes.

Hambantota International Port has improved efficiency which is winning customers, the firm said. “HIP responded very well to the challenges during lockdown, and today we can say that our unique selling proposition is the efficiency of the port.

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“This comes from a responsive workforce at all levels of the operation and best equipment being used to assist the smooth running of it,” Lance Zuo, General Manager, Commercial and Marketing, Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) said in a statement.

“As Hambantota Port is working towards being a fully functional multipurpose port by next year, we are gearing at all levels, which includes continuous training and testing our systems for optimum efficiency which is part of the DNA of all CMPort operations across the globe.”

MV Glovis Summit, a vehicle carrier which called at the port in June 2021 saw 5000 vehicles handled in less than18 hours, the port said. The port said it is providing bunker oil to RORO vessels.

MV Han Zhi, a project cargo vessel had also discharged outsize cargo made up of two large transformers weighting 70 metric tonnes each and other components destined to state-run Ceylon Electricity Board and from another vessel.

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