Trincomalee Port in Sri Lanka – 10 Fast Facts

Trincomalee Port in Sri-Lanka – 10 Fast Facts

With a population of around 99 135 people, the Trincomalee District is a major resort and port city located in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. We share 10 fast facts on the Trincomalee Port below.

Trincomalee Port
Image from Sri Lanka Mirror. Click for Link.

1. Trincomalee Port is formed by a natural harbour and the fifth largest in the world. Being located in a sparsely populated and underdeveloped area has hampered development in Trincomalee, however, plans are going ahead to develop the city as a commercial seaport.

2. Sri Lanka and India formed an agreement to develop South Asia’s biggest oil depot at a port close to Trincomalee in 2015. This depot is known as Upper Tank Farm and can be found at China Bay, the abandoned World War II port.

3. Located in the heart on the Indian Ocean, Trincomalee’s strategic importance has molded its history, with many sea battles taking place to control the harbour. Trincomalee port has been held in turn by the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French, and the English.

4. In 1956, the Ceylonese government took over the Trincomalee Harbour from the British and developed it to be a commercial port. It had been previously used by the British as a naval base and was fitted out enable completion of slipway repairs for the Navy.

Trincomalee Port
Image : Courtesy of Wikipedia. Click for link

5. In the 1960’s, when Sri Lanka’s chief port, Colombo, was experiencing labour and congestion issues, some of this traffic was routed to the Port of Trincomalee.

6. As well as being one of the largest natural harbours, the Port of Trincomalee also boasts the deepest natural harbour in South Asia, with ten times more water and land reserves than the well-known Port of Colombo.

7. The port currently has 4 multi-purpose berths and over 1 750 metres of quay. It primarily handles bulk cargoes.

8. The location of the port, as well as its “natural harbour” characteristics and low congestion,  make it an attractive port for ship repairs and maintenance.

9. The Government of Sri Lanka plans to develop the port into a highly competitive export hub, boosting facilities to enable 24/7 operation and increasing the volume of cargo that the port handles.

10. In April of 2019, the port was equipped with new night navigation and new radar systems. This was financed by a $9 million grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

This Sri-Lankan port is truly steeped in history, and whilst it is still underdeveloped, improvements and developments are underway to modernise the port and increase its productivity.

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