Purchase of two 63,600 Mt DWT bulk cargo carrying ships
January 19, 2014, 8:31 pm – The Island
As envisaged in the National Development Program of Mahinda Chintana, Vision for the Future the government of Sri Lanka in its concerted efforts of transforming the country as a maritime and Logistics Hub in the region has recognized the critical importance of reviving the Ceylon Shipping Corporation Limited (CSCL), the national shipping line of the country complementary to the creation of world class port infrastructure and conducive policy framework related to the shipping and logistics industry. It was also announced in the National Budget-2014, the need for acquiring ships for CSCL in order to build up a national fleet in the interest of the country and the national economy, as it was in the glorious past of CSCL, when the country owned and operated over 20 ships through the CSCL to many ports in the world training seafarers and providing jobs.
As the first step in realizing this objective, the Cabinet had approved the purchase of two 63,600 MT DWT bulk carrier ships to the CSCL, mainly Intended for transporting of thermal coal imported for the coal fried power plant in the country.
CSCL signed the ship building agreement with M/s AVIC International Beijing Company Limited of China, which is one of the most reputed and experienced ship building companies in China. The agreement was signed by the chairman of the CSCL, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage, who is also the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy and Mrs. Chen Xiaohong, Assistant President of the M/s AVIC International Beijing Company Limited on 10th January 2014 at the office of the CSCL.
Commenting at the simple ceremony held to mark the occasion, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage conveyed his thanks and appreciation to the President for his farsighted vision and support extended to the maritime industry in general and in particular to the CSCL as the Minister in charge of Ports and Shipping and also expressed his gratitude to the project ministers and other senior officials of the Ministry of Highways, Ports and Shipping and the Ministry of Finance for their support and guidance extended to the CSCL to enable it to take this first step in this long-awaited forward leap, after 03 decades.
He stated that the two ships to be delivered within two year’s time will partly replace the foreign owned ships currently being used for coal transport to the country thereby saving a substantial amount of hard earned foreign exchange now being remitted out of the country for freight in addition to providing employment for the Sri Lankan seafarers and creation of shore based employments.
He also mentioned that these ships is specially designed to add an extra deck at an extra cost to accommodate around 25 persons in addition to its standard crew complement, with a view to providing mandatory on board sea training for the nautical and engineering cadets of the various Maritime Training Academies in the country, which will help resolve their critical problem of completing studies before finding jobs on ships.