Western Marine Shipyard has signed a new agreement for newbuilding of two container ships. These ships will be constructed for Neepa Paribahan Ltd and Mir & Islam Enterprise. The deal was signed by the Managing Director of Western Marine Shipyard Mr. Sakhawat Hossain with the Managing Director of Neepa Paribahan Ltd Mr. Mujibur Rahman Chowdhury & the Managing Director of Mir & Islam Enterprise Mr. Mir Mahmood Ali on behalf of their respective organizations. The ships will be having a capacity of 160 TEUs of container & will operate to carry containers from Chittagong Port to Pangaon Inland Container Terminal (PICT).
The government has issued 50 licenses for inland container ships which shall ply in this route. Western marine has already secured orders of 6 ships into their basket from these. Recently the shipyard has enhanced its capacity & they plan to build more 20 container ships. The ship will be constructed under class Germanischer Lloyd ensuring its best quality.
Each of these ships will cost BDT25crore and they have been designed uniquely for the inland & coastal route of Bangladesh. Newbuilding of container ships are very much sophisticated & requires complicated calculation of stability unlike other types of vessel like cargo ships or tankers. So far Western Marine has built nine container vessels (multi-purpose) which has been exported to Europe.
These ships will be serving for the PICT which Bangladesh government has developed in Dhaka to facilitate increased trade within the country. The ships will make a major contribution in our economy for port service enhancement & at the same time they will play a major role in reduction of traffic density in highways by transferring the mass imported goods by river. This way for the first time container ships will be plying in our inland channels, which had never been experienced before.
Statistics say that last year Chittagong port received 15lac TEUs of containers which is also growing by 20% per annum & it will reach an optimum level of 30lac in the coming years. 90% of these goods are transferred to various destinations within the country either by rail or road. The new 50 container ships for PICT will be able to carry 2.5lac TEUs per year. According to the present momentum at least 100 container ships will be required to meet the growing volume of containers received by Chittagong Port.
Chairman Saiful Islam said “Bangladesh government has issued 50 licenses for such vessel, and Western Marine has ensured the new construction of six of these vessels”. He emphasized saying government should discourage import of container vessels because local yards are fully capable of building such ships & Western Marine being the leading shipbuilder in the country has exported 9 similar ships to the European Market. Further the imported container ships will not be compliant to the inland route of Bangladesh where they will ply.
Shipyard MD Sakhawat Hossain said for introducing such container ships in our river channels 16,000 vehicles will be taken off the highways which shall reduce our traffic congestion & prevent air pollution.