DFC commits US$ 553 million for Colombo port infrastructure development
COLOMBO – The US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) on Wednesday (8) announced it has committed more than half a billion dollars to support the development of a deep-water shipping container terminal in the Port of Colombo in Sri Lanka, that will provide critical infrastructure for the South Asian region.
A statement from the US embassy in Colombo said the new terminal reflects DFC’s commitment to financing high-quality infrastructure that supports its partner’s development needs, invests in local communities, and is respectful of local financial conditions. It also noted that the investment further demonstrates the United States’ enduring commitment to Sri Lanka’s economic growth and its regional economic integration, including with India.
DFC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Scott Nathan who travelled to Sri Lanka to launch the $553 million project said DFC works to drive private-sector investments that advance development and economic growth while strengthening the strategic positions of our partners. “That’s what we’re delivering with this infrastructure investment in the Port of Colombo,” he said, noting “Sri Lanka is one of the world’s key transit hubs, with half of all container ships transiting through its waters” and that DFC’s commitment of $553 million in private-sector loans for the West Container Terminal will expand its shipping capacity, creating greater prosperity for the country – without adding to sovereign debt – while at the same time strengthening the position of US’ allies across the region.
Foreign Minister Ali Sabry, Chief of Staff to the President and National Security Advisor (NSA) Sagala Ratnayaka and US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung joined Nathan for the ceremonial launch of the new terminal.
US Ambassador Chung noting that the US$ 553 million investment by DFC for the long-term development of the Port of Colombo’s West Container Terminal will facilitate private- sector-led growth in Sri Lanka and attract crucial foreign exchange inflows during its economic recovery, said the financing was symbolic of the United States’ long-standing commitment to the development and well-being of the people of Sri Lanka. “Sri Lanka regaining its economic footing will further our shared vision for a free and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” she added.
The statement noted that the investment models how DFC operates, supporting projects that are strategic, economically sound, and led by the private sector, elaborating that DFC was working with world-class sponsors John Keells Holdings and Adani Ports & Special Economic Zones Limited (APSEZ) and the companies’ local experience and high-quality standards will help support local jobs and make this project a long-term, sustained success for the Indo-Pacific.
The Port of Colombo is the largest and busiest transhipment port in the Indian Ocean. It has been operating at more than 90% utilization since 2021, signalling its need for additional capacity. The new terminal will cater to growing economies in the Bay of Bengal, taking advantage of Sri Lanka’s prime position on major shipping routes and its proximity to these expanding markets.