Sri Lanka Ports Authority commenced its operations and services for the new year 2016 with priority to religious observances. The main function was held with the initiative of Hon.Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranathunga and with the participation of the Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Mr.Dammika Ranathunga and a number of higher officers.
Expressing views at the occasion, Hon.Minister of Port and Shipping Arjuna Ranathunga stated that, his sole objective is to bring the Port of Colombo amongst the top 20 global container ports. He also stated that every possible step has been taken to facilitate all employees and staffs of the institution to perform their fullest duty towards Sri Lanka Ports Authority without disputes and as same as the previous year.
Expressing views at the occasion, the Chairman of Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), Mr.Dammika Ranathunga stated that the institution is by now acquiring a rapid progress. He also stated that compared to the decrease in TEU operations in the year 2015, marking Singapore at 8%, Salala 18%, Hamburg 11.7%, the growth of the Port of Colombo was marked at 5.9%. At the same time he said that the domestic operations have increased by 8.3% and transshipment TEU operations by 5.4%. The Chairman also stated that the usual productivity of Gantry cranes at the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) of SLPA for the month of January 2015 which was 20 TEUs per hour had been increased up to 26 TEUS per hour by November 2015.
“We expect to accomplish constructions of the East Terminal, purchase machinery and other equipment to commence operations in 2016. As a result of marketing and business promotion strategies, SLPA could enter into 06 MOUs with main global shipping lines in 2015. Hence, 03 main lines and 04 feeder services were attracted to the JCT. At the end 2015, the JCT won the ISO: 9001/2008 Quality Management Certification in Container Terminal Management and Operations as a result of the improved efficiency at the SLPA terminals. With the award, the Jaya Container Terminal (JCT) became the first and the only terminal at the Port of Colombo to achieve an international quality certification. I believe that the support of everyone at SLPA would be extended to maintain these standards at a further improved status in future,” he said.
The main financial challenge SLPA has to face in the new year is to pay back the loans obtained to construct the Port of Hambantota. The loan installment and the interest for the completed stage I and the interest charges and commitment charges for stage II being completed at present have to be paid in the year 2016. Although the cost of Rs.9000 million that has to be paid in this regard has expressed an increased pressure upon the financial flow of the Port of Colombo, plans are under way to introduce new mechanisms in 2016 to deviate the situation. Hence, implementation of a new plan of investment at the Port of Hambantota, commencement of business at the bunker facility and expansion of the RO-RO transshipment business will be considered. It is expected to minimize the pressure to the financial flow at the Port of Colombo through these procedures.
It is also expected to launch the new web site of Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) from January this year with added components. At the same time, the new document management system at the port will also facilitate the forwarding of documents in an automated environ in 2016. Meanwhile, the preparation of budget reports via the first ever zero budget system at the port, preparation of separate accounts for each port of SLPA to enable every port a profit making centre will be done in the year 2016. Accounting for fixed assets at the Port of Colombo through a new computer system and accounting for other ports via a computer system for the first time, have been implemented in the year 2015. It is expected to implement the accounting of all ports via the Oracle computer system this year.
The management has identified the need to optimize human resources to achieve the objectives of the institution and the Human Resource Information System (HRIS) is being implemented at the best productive level.
A yacht marina is being constructed to develop the Galle Port with the objectives of improving the industry of tourism and travel trade in the region and to develop new industries. The construction of access road with two lanes at the port was completed in the year 2015. In future, steps will be implemented to minimize the damage to the environment through the existing industries as well.
The Chairman of SLPA, Mr.Dammika Ranathunga stated that one objective through these implementations is to make Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) a competitively efficient institution that can march forward head to head with the private sector.
The Secretary to the Ministry of Port and Shipping Mr.L.P.Jayampathy, Senior Additional Secretary Mrs.Kanthi Perera, Vice Chairman of SLPA Dr.W.Lalith Prasanna Perera, Managing Director of SLPA Mr.H.D.A.S.Premachandra, Executive Director of SLPA MR.Sanjeewa Wijerathna, Additional Managing Director of SLPA Mr.Janaka Kurukulasooriya, Directors, Heads of the Divisions, Executive Officers, a number of staff members, employees and trade union representatives of SLPA also attended the occasion.
(SLPA - 05012016)