From left: KDDI Corporation Global Chief Technical Officer Shigeto Kiritani, Kokusai Cable Ship Co. Ltd President Takaaki Anraku, Colombo Dockyard PLC Managing Director/CEO D.V. Abeysinghe, Japanese Ambassador in Sri Lanka Kenichi Suganuma, Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe lay the keel for the new vessel
Pic by Pradeep Pathirana
Colombo Dockyard PLC (DOCK), a subsidiary of Japan’s Onomichi Dockyard Company Limited, yesterday began the construction of the largest ship to ever be built in Sri Lanka on a US $ 53 million contract for Japan’s Kokusai Cable Ship Co. Ltd (KCS).
“This vessel is US $ 53 million and out of that our value addition will be slightly above 30 percent because the raw materials come from other countries and that accounts for 65 percent,” DOCK Managing Director/CEO D.V. Abeysinghe said.
He said that the profit margins for DOCK from the vessel would be the standard, at just below 4 percent. This marks the first time that Sri Lanka is building a vessel for Japanese clients and is the 243rd vessel built by DOCK.
“If we can prove ourselves with this construction, we can get more Japanese orders,” Abeysinghe added, saying that the order would contribute towards reversing several quarters of loss-making for the shipbuilder.
The ship, which is a submarine cable-laying and maintenance vessel, is 111.3 meters in length and has a deadweight tonnage of 5,300. It can carry both optical and power submarine cables.
With the increasing global reliance of both the Internet and electricity, cable-laying vessels are likely to meet increased demand.
According to DOCK, the ship will be environmentally friendly and is based on the latest designs by Norway’s VARD Designs.
“Ships being built in Japan have had similar designs for 25 years. This is the first time such a design has been done for Japan and it was a competition between us and another Japanese company to build the vessel,” Abeysinghe said.
The ship has an average cruising speed of 14.5 knots, powered by a diesel electric engine, which has four generator sets of 2,250 kilowatts each. The range of the ship is 10,000 nautical miles.
KCS was established in 1966 and was involved in installing the first submarine cable in the Pacific. It is a fully-owned subsidiary of the Japanese telecommunications giant KDDI. KCS had 6.28 billion yen in sales in 2016, operating its two cable-laying vessels.
This would be the first instance that the company is contracting a ship to be built outside Japan, according to KCS President Takaaki Anraku.
The vessel’s construction will be completed by March 2019. The keel-laying ceremony yesterday was attended by DOCK, KCS and Sri Lanka government officials.