Sri Lanka’s SAGT targets 2.4 m TEUs for 2019

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Sri Lanka’s South Asia Gateway Terminals (Pvt) Ltd. (SAGT), Sri Lanka’s first Private Public Partnership (PPP) a flagship venture of the Board of Investment (BOI), has increased its projections to 2.4 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent container units) for 2019 from the landmark two million TEUs reached this year.

The operators of the Queen Elizabeth Quay (QEQ) in the Colombo Port achieved an impressive 2 million TEU in a calendar-year for the first time on 19th December 2018.

The Company plans to import new equipment to meet the demand, SAGT Chief Marketing Commercial Officer (CCO) Ted Muttiah said.

“We are delighted to achieve two million TEUs in 2018, which is quite an achievement considering the design capacity of 1.1 million TEUs at the commencement of operations in 1999. We are now strategizing towards the 2.4 million TEU mark with additional capacity for 2019. In the past few years, we were averaging between 1.6 million and 1.7 million TEUs and it was through operational efficiency that we increased capacity by another 300,000 TEUs,” he said.

SAGT’s achievement of 2 million TEUs generated over a 940 meter quay length, provides the best operational yield per meter of quay length in the port of Colombo and in the South Asia region.

“The quay line at QEQ terminal is 940 meters with limited scope to extend it. Therefore, our focus was to drive efficiency by sweating the operating assets and increasing the velocity of volumes through the terminal,” Muttiah said.

Muttiah said the Colombo Port, which achieved the seven million TEU landmark this year, would be among the fastest growing top 30 Ports in the world while the Port is facing competition from regional ports such as Dubai, Singapore and Port Kelang in Malaysia.

“With 80 percent of our transshipment volumes involving India, the Colombo Port is complementary to India’s international trade growth aspirations,” Muttiah said.

The SAGT CCO said that shipping lines also have the benefit of three terminal operators in Colombo in contrast to the single terminal operator each in Singapore and Dubai.

SAGT, commenced operations in 1999, is the first Public Private Partnership container terminal in Sri Lanka with approximately 60% Sri Lankan shareholding with John Keells Holdings PLC and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). Maersk Ltd (APMT) and Evergreen (EMC) are among the international shareholders.

SAGT’s ability to achieve two million TEUs is remarkable with a yard capacity of 20 hectares and must rate among the best in the world for space optimization.

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