SLPA heralds K Line’s brand new car carrier MV ‘Delhi Highway’

Tuesday, 8 January 2013 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

K Line, the pioneer in the transport of automobiles, further strengthened its confidence in Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) with the maiden call of its RO-RO vessel MV ‘Delhi Highway’ on 4 January 2013.

To mark the maiden call of the vessel MV ‘Delhi Highway’ at Port of Colombo, a plaque exchanging ceremony was held on board the vessel between Dr. Priyath B. Wickrama, Chairman SLPA and the Master of the vessel, Capt. Peter C. Dzhiliyalov. Makoto Hashizume, CEO of the K Line Container Division in Singapore, also paid a special visit to Sri Lanka to grace this occasion.

The 299m long vessel built in July 2011 has a gross tonnage of 58,997 tons and a dead weight of 18,891 tons. MV ‘Delhi Highway’ sails under the flag of Panama and has recorded a maximum speed of 20.3 knots.

Commenting at the ceremony, SLPA Chairman Dr. Priyath B Wickrama said, “Let me congratulate K Line on their progress at this occasion, and their concern on the environment is worthy of emulation.”  

“We as terminal operators are also facing challenges. We have been able to maintain higher productivity levels in all terminal activities with added capacity and capabilities of current Port of Colombo. Our fleet of equipment was strengthened. Yard space, we have added close to 600,000 TEU annual capacities.

“We spent approximately US$ 200 million to upgrade these facilities. This apart, with the largest-ever infrastructure projects taking shape in Sri Lanka, I believe, nothing could hinder Sri Lanka  becoming the logistics hub of South Asia,” added Wickrama.

Expressing his optimism at the occasion, Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, Managing Director of SLPA stated that since the commencement of RO-RO operations at MRMRP in June last year, congestion at Port of Colombo has significantly eased off.  

“We promote MRMRP for transhipment and shipments of individually imported vehicles while Colombo can accommodate vessels brining in brand new vehicles in bulk orders. As clearance won’t take much time in the case of such orders, their yard occupation time will be minimal,” said Capt. Keppetipola.

“I congratulate K Line, one of our loyal and outstanding customers, on this occasion. 2013 will be a year of further change for SLPA as we have focused our attention on improving internal procedures and business processes to be on par with international best practices. You would be able to witness a plethora of changes within the SLPA. Change is inevitable in this hyper-competitive business and we do everything possible for the benefit of our customers,” he further added.

John Shiran Dissanayake, Chairman of ABC Shipping Ltd., expressing confidence at the RO-RO operations handled by SLPA, both in Colombo and the brand new Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port (MRMRP) in Hambantota, stated that the facilities at both ports are sure to attract more brand new ships to call at Colombo and Hambantota during the year.

He further opined that the facilities at MRMRP in Hambantota would also enhance confidence of their principals to consider promoting transhipment of vehicles from India to route via MRMRP to East Africa and Europe. “The principals will launch some brand new ships in 2013 and 2014, which will call at ports of Sri Lanka,” he said.

K Line, with local agency services purveyed by ABC Shipping, provides safer and speedier car transportation service.

Commenting on the success of K Line with SLPA, Wasantha Thalagala, Managing Director of ABC Shipping, stated that he was confident of the success of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority with the services rendered to them as agents and anticipate handling more volumes and ships at both ports during this year.  

“K Line provides services for safer and timely transport of completely built-up cars (CBU). It not only makes unstinting efforts to transport CBUs safely but also ensures no damage during loading and unloading, operations and navigation.” he further voiced.

K Line is also making fleet upgrades to improve environmental performances. The upgrades include the use of fuel tanks placed within a triple-bottom structure to prevent oil leaks and protect the environment with enhanced fuel tank protection performance in the event of damage to the ship.

K Line has also adopted electrically controlled engines on Pure Car Carriers (PCCs) for the first time. K line is actively working to reduce environmental impact through the use of various cutting–edge technologies such as particulate matter removal equipment that uses ceramic filters to prevent soot dispersion.

In the automobile industry, production is shifting from the traditional auto production countries to newly industrialised countries. In conjunction with this change, the transport of CBUs is diversifying around the world and K Line believes that the trend will continue in the future. In response to the changes, K line will continue its efforts to operate various types of ships and reinforce its global-spanning service network to meet customer needs.

Jayantha Perera, Chief Manager (Conventional Cargo), SLPA, W. Nimal Jayatissa, Deputy Chief Manager (Operations), SLPA, Capt. Athula Hewavitharana , Senior Deputy Harbour Master, SLPA, Hashizume Makoto, Chief Executive Officer, K Line Container Division Singapore, Wasantha Talagala, Managing Director, ABC Shipping, Ravi De Costa, Executive Director, Tressel G. Silva, General Manager – Operations, ABC Shipping, Reggie Dias, Senior Manager – Car Carrier, ABC Shipping, and Premalal Perera, Operations Assistant, ABC Shipping, were present at the occasion of the plaque exchange held onboard to mark the maiden call of MV ‘Delhi Highway’ at SLPA.