A fully-fledged cruise terminal is to be set up at Colombo port given the increasing number of calls by cruise vessels, according to Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Dr. Lakdas Panagoda.

The SLPA plans to convert the Bandaranaike Quay (BQ) of Colombo port into a “fully-fledged international cruise terminal,” Dr. Panagoda said. This was one of the initiatives taken by the SLPA during the new administration in the past six months, he said.

Cruise lines revived calls at Sri Lankan ports like Colombo after the end of the island’s 30-year ethnic war in 2009. The number of cruise vessels calling at the island’s ports is increasing but the lack of a dedicated cruise ship terminal is seen by the travel trade as a drawback.

Plans are also being drawn to construct a Central Feeder Terminal by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) to handle the increasing volume of container operations in the Port of Colombo.

Under the project the Bandaranaike Terminal of Colombo which is being used only for general cargo handling at present, is due to be developed as a fully-equipped Central Feeder Terminal.

The completion of the East Container Terminal by SLPA or as a joint venture with an international terminal operator with SLPA holding majority share is the main objective to keep the port under SLPA control, he said.

Dr. Panagoda said that the process of development and implementation of an ISO 9001 Quality Management System at JCT to be completed in next month.