Born in 1956, joined Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC) as an officer cadet in 1975 after completing his higher education. He obtained Masters in Maritime Navigation in 1985 at RMIT – Melbourne, Australia. On completion of sailing on several types of vessels, i.e. container, general cargo, bulk, oil & gas tankers with various shipping lines, i.e. CSC, Chepstow & Shipping – UK, V Ships – Monte Carlo, Ahrenkiel – Germany, Pan Ocean – South Korea in various ranks and finally as a captain, he joined the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) as a Harbour Pilot in 1990.
After working as a pilot in al all ports of Sri Lanka, he rose to the position of Harbour Master in 1999. Due to various requests by senior managements during different eras, in addition to the portfolio as Harbour Master, he managed specialized jobs relating to Port Operations, Harbour Security and Logistics connected with the supply chain of the maritime industry. In 2005 became the Director of Port Operations and from 2008 to 2015 Captain Nihal Keppetipola [NK] was the Managing Director of SLPA. He was attached to the Ministry of Ports & Shipping as an Examiner of Marine Deck Officers.
He served in the capacity of director in the boards of Jaya Container Terminals Ltd [JCT]., South Asia Gateway Terminals [SAGT], Colombo International Container Terminals Ltd [CICT]., Hambantota Port and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation. Was a past president of Nautical Institute of UK [SL branch] and is a current member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics & Transport.
Being a professional in the fields of Maritime & logistics for over four decades, Capt. NK has proven his proficiency in developing and steering organizations in their success-oriented goals.