Friday, January 04, 2008

Sri Lanka builds its first ship after 850 years...

As we’ve heard, in the era of King Maha Parakramabahu, Sri Lankan Navy forces have conquered some nations in South East Asia region, including Myanmar. This tells a great technology of building ships in that era, though we don’t have any remains today. [Parâkramabâhu The Great (1123–1186 AD). Ruled Sri Lanka from 1153 to 1186 AD.]

And now we, as Sri Lankans, are so lucky to hear the news, that Sri Lanka has started ship building again. Following is the news published in the Daily News yesterday (2008/01/03) by Hiran H. Senewiratne on the topic.

Colombo Dockyards Plc (CDP) was able to secure six shipbuilding orders Greatship (India) Limited worth over US $110 million following the building of its largest anchor handling tug supply vessel to the company, yesterday.

"Colombo Dockyard have done an excellent job by exceeding all specifications of the contract," Chairman, Greatship (India) Limited K.M Sheth said at the ceremony.

CDP which has undertaken 33 per cent of shipbuilding work of Greatship India conforms to all international ship building standards.

This is the first of an order for two anchor handling tug supply vessels ordered by the company and will have further repeat orders, Sheth said.

He said this is the first time that CDP built such a large vessel and this would be a stepping stone to go for major ship building activities by the company to compete with other international companies.

Picture by Sumanachandra Ariyawansa (Daily News)

CDP Managing Director/CEO, Mangala Yapa said they have the capability of building modern anchor handling vessels and to supply cargo to the offshore installations situated worldwide.

This is a first in the maritime industry of Sri Lanka a mega project of this magnitude has been awarded by Great Ship (India) Limited to CDL.

This also the largest ship built by a local company, Yapa said. He said this is the largest vessel built to an international company.

They expect more orders from other countries in the world. The company took 15 months to build the ship at their yard.

Yapa said Colombo is popular as a bunkering and ship repairing centre in the region but could position as a major ship building centre in the region.

Entreprise Development Minister Mano Wijeratne said Sri Lanka is now on the correct track to achieve rapid economic development.

He said there would be plenty of opportunities for the ship building industry with the coming up of major ports such as Hambantota, Trincomalee and Colombo South harbour expansion project.

Greatship (India) Limited is the largest private owned shipping company in India.