Colombo: Sri Lanka inaugurated a new harbour constructed with Chinese assistance on Sunday, officials said.
The port in Hambantota, 240 km south-east of the capital, is expected to begin receiving ships in November.
The project was built at a cost USD 360 million, 85 percent of which came as a loan from the Export-Import Bank of China as a loan. The balance was financed by Sri Lanka state revenues.
The harbour, with an approach channel 210 metres wide and 17 metres deep, is expected to the handle more than 7,000 ships per year when the three-phase project is completed.
It will initially provide refuelling and bunkering services for ships using sea lanes a few nautical miles south-east of Sri Lanka, officials said.