COLOMBO, Jan. 1 (Xinhua) -- Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT), which is a joint venture operated by China and Sri Lanka at the Colombo South Terminal in the Port of Colombo, said Wednesday that it handled a total of 2.9 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) or 40 percent of volumes at Colombo Port in 2019.
CICT said in a statement that the terminal has seen an 8.6-percent increase in throughput compared to 2018, and a 322-percent increase compared to 2014. Strong growth at CICT has helped the Port of Colombo increase its total throughput by 2.6 percent in 2019.
Ultra Large Container Carriers (ULCC) contributed to 72 percent of CICT's volumes as the terminal is the first and only deep water port in South Asia capable of handling the large vessels afloat.
the CICT CEO Jack Huang said, "We believe that our unwavering commitment to efficiency and other key performance indicators coupled with our deep water capacity enabled us to grow faster than some of the other terminals in the region."
CICT made a number of investment to the Colombo South Terminal in 2019 including 1.5 million U.S. dollars for Sri Lanka's first Dangerous Goods Storage Facility and 10 million dollars to convert the entire fleet of diesel operated rubber-tyred-gantry cranes to electric ones with zero carbon emissions - reducing carbon emissions by 45 percent and diesel consumption by 96 percent.
Since commencing operations in 2014, the CICT has overseen growth in volumes from 686,639 TEUs in 2014, to 1.56 million TEUs in 2015, 2 million TEUs in 2016, 2.38 million TEUs in 2017 and 2.67 million TEUs in 2018.
The CICT is a joint venture between China Merchant Port Holdings and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority. The Colombo South Terminal was developed by the CICT under a 35-year build, operate and transfer agreement with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.