Both HIPG and HIPS are joint-venture companies, with shares held by China Merchants Port Holdings Limited (CMPort) and Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), in a Public Private Partnership (PPP). CMPort is a major conglomerate based in Hong Kong with a global presence in port operations, maritime transportation and logistics services. Sri Lanka Ports Authority is a Statutory Authority established by an Act of Parliament with powers for management and administration of ports in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA)

Sri Lanka Ports Authority came into being on 1 August 1979, under the Sri Lanka Ports Authority Act, No. 51 of 1979 (subsequently amended by Act No. 7 of 1984 and Act No. 35 of 1984). It was, in effect, a merger of the Colombo Port Commission Department, The Port Cargo Corporation and the Port Tally and Protective Services Corporation. and the two existing statutory Corporation. The Ports Authority is self-sustaining and operates utilizing  on its own revenue and resources and does not receive financial allocations from the Government. Prior to the formation of SLPA, the Colombo Port Commission, established in 1918, carried out the supply and maintenance of cargo-handling equipment and other infrastructure, pilotage services, docking and administration of the Port of Colombo. The Port Cargo Corporation was set up in 1958 to handle Stevedoring and shore handling activities, while the Port Tally and Protective Services Corporation was formed in 1967 in order to perform on-board tallying and watchmen services on behalf of Agents.

The role of the SLPA :
  • As per the Concession Agreement, The Chairman of the SLPA is the Chairman of the Hambantota International Port Services Company (HIPS), which operates the port’s common user facilities, including but not limited to navigation, security and safety.
  • The Deputy Harbor Master under the purview of the Harbor Master, SLPA, performs navigation services at the Hambantota International Port.
  • The Deputy Harbor Master (DHM) and Pilots are employees of the SLPA and they perform duties as per the SLPA Act, Harbor Masters Ordinance, Pilots Ordinance, etc.
  • No commercial vessel can berth at the Hambantota port without the approval of the Harbor Master of SLPA and the Sri Lanka Navy.
  • No naval vessel can berth at the Hambantota port without the approval of the Ministry of Defence (MOD), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA).
  • As per the Concession Agreement, a security oversight committee shall be appointed comprising of the Director Security-SLPA, a member from the Ministry of Defense, Commander Southern Naval Area and the Police.
  • The Director Security of the SLPA heads this committee. They meet each month alternately in Colombo and Hambantota, and review overall security of the Port.

China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited (CMPort)

The history of China Merchants Port Holdings Company Limited (CMPort), formerly China Merchants Holdings International (CMHI), dates back to 1872 when its parent company, China Merchants Group, was established in Hong Kong, focusing on core businesses of Transportation, Finance and Property. Listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 1992 (00144), CMPort is the largest, globally competitive public port developer, investor and operator in China. The company’s investments cover Mainland China, Hong Kong and overseas, while its port network includes coastal hub ports in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Shenzhen, Ningbo, Shanghai, Qingdao, Tianjin, Dalian, Zhangzhou, Zhanjiang and Shantou. It has a growing presence in South-Asia, Africa, Mediterranean and South America. CMPort’s current port network portfolio spans 50 ports in 26 countries and regions. CMPort has consistently strived and succeeded in its vision: To be a world-class comprehensive port service provider.

China Merchants Group (CMG) (Parent company to CMPort)

China Merchants Group (CMG is focused on three core industries: comprehensive transportation, featured finance, holistic development and operation of residential communities and industrial parks. CMG's economic indicators hit a record high in 2019: revenue of 717.7 billion yuan, total profit of 162.5 billion yuan and net profit of 126.2 billion yuan: a year-on-year increase of 10.4%, 12.0% and 18.0% respectively. Total assets reached 9.3 trillion yuan; an increase of 16.7%. CMG is among eight central SOEs awarded ‘Level-A’ performance evaluation by SASAC for 15 consecutive years, and ‘Excellent Performance Enterprise’ for five successive tenures. CMG and its subsidiary China Merchants Bank were both in the Fortune Global 500 list in 2019, making CMG an enterprise with two Fortune Global 500 companies.

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