The Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC) has signed a USD 70 million (over Rs. 9.1 billion) loan agreement with the state-owned People’s Bank to purchase two 63,600 MT DWT bulk cargo-carrying ships from China, to revive the corporation.
The two ships will be built by AVIC International Beijing Company Limited of China. The first ship will be delivered on October 31, 2015 and the second on January 31, 2016.
There are plans to use the ships for transporting thermal coal imported for the coal fired power plant in Norochcholai.
The agreement was signed by Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage, who is also the Chairman of the Shipping Corporation, and the General Manager of the People’s Bank Wasantha Kumar.
These ships are also specially designed, to add an extra deck at an extra cost, to accommodate around 25 persons in addition to its standard crew complement, with the view of providing mandatory onboard sea-training for nautical and engineering cadets.
During the 1970s and 1980s the Ceylon Shipping Corporation owned and operated over 20 ships including commercial ships but with the war, its operations and strength gradually declined.
The Corporation earlier said the need to acquire ships for the CSC was in the interest of the country and the national economy as well. (Supun Dias)