Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC), which hails from a highly reputed past as a ship-owning entity in the South Asian region is witnessing the completion of its new break bulk vessel that is under construction in a Chinese shipyard. Recently, another important milestone was reached in its construction process as the ‘shop test’ of the Main Engine was successfully completed in its manufacturer’s workshop in Jiansu.
Speaking to the media, Ceylon Shipping Corporation Executive Director Dr. Dan Malika Gunasekera highlighted some key points in the transformation of CSC into a ship-owning status from a Non-Vessel Owning Carrier that it maintained for the last several years. Answering to the question whether CSC has the competent seafarers to perform the new challenges ahead of them; he said that this organisation has already started recruiting process through newspaper and other media advertisements calling to fill the relevant vacancies.
He added that, the National Sea Carrier would not at anytime fail in its duty to commission the best expertise in ship handling as recruitments will be purely based on the requisite qualifications and experience at the highest level in maritime industry. Not only that, he further mentioned that the proper expertise have been sought in this process by obtaining personalised services from maritime professionals engaged in on-board and off-shore units available locally and internationally.
“There’s no doubt about utilising the best experts in ship building and operation at this juncture, as many qualified and experienced maritime professionals approach CSC on daily basis in lending their expertise for the best interest of the State due to sheer passion these noble men have towards their own alma mater in shipping,” he added.
Speaking further, the Executive Director briefed the media on the present use of experts who are stationed in the shipyard in China as supervisors of the respective area of competence along with the officials of the Class DNV-GL stating that the team includes technical and marine engineering representatives appointed by CSC in addition to the engineers of the Main Engine Manufacturer, Surveyors of DNV-GL, experts of MAN-B&W as well as CSC Technical Manager Sandya Lal Rajapakse who often visit the shipyard for inspection and reporting to the Ministry of Ports and Shipping, Sri Lanka.
Reportedly, all quality control inspections have been carried out successfully by the team attending to the ‘shop test’ of the main engine during the said installation while the official final report is pending to be received by CSC for its careful evaluation. Dr. Gunasekera said that the present task is based on the tri-partite agreement between CSC, MAN B&W, and JAD (Engineering Manufacturer), and all necessary means in meeting the electrical, mechanical and technical competencies have well been met according to the IMO regulations and of the Class.
He further mentioned that the demand for break bulk ships in international shipping has grown over the past few years where international indexes have reported an increase of over 21 dry bulk tonnage categories in the net sentiment by May 2015: show positive signs of trade growth in chartering business once this vessel along with the other, ‘MV Ceylon Princess’ reach the coasts of Sri Lanka.
Both these ships are expected to fulfil the nation’s energy security by commissioning them in the transportation of coal for Ceylon Electricity Board’s presently operating power station at Norochcholai and the proposed one at Sampur. The Executive Director also made it clear that the two vessels will be chartered-out in the international shipping business to bring in more foreign exchange to the country while providing maritime training to many future seafarers who are eager to take to the sea having studied various programs at leading institutions such as Colombo Nautical and Engineering College (CINEC), University of Moratuwa, MERCMARINE and the like.
When questioned whether these two vessels are competent to sail in highly regularised marine environments in the United States and Europe, Dr. Gunasekera was confident enough to say that they are highly equipped to meet all necessary means thus applying the most modern oils and lubricants that fall under the US and EU directives.
Adding further he said, “We are mindful of requirements and regulations that apply to the industry, and we have been taking the most appropriate decisions in utilising same. It is important to mention the cooperation extended by the Ministry and especially Hon. Minister of Ports and Shipping Arjuna Ranatunga MP who have given the fullest confidence in this shipbuilding process while the CSC employed experts at site in China are busy working in meeting all required standards and competence according to the relevant specifications.”
The Executive Director didn’t forget to point out the way forward after receiving of ‘MV Ceylon Breeze’ and ‘MV Ceylon Princess’. According to him, an internal committee has been formed at CSC to address all and sundry matters relating to the operation and management of these two vessels. While it invites local experts to share their expertise in these aspects for the benefit of the country by analysing the best suitable means, the said committee looks into the possibilities of outsourcing certain highly competent areas as a matter of reaching the ends of productivity in this extremely important national endeavour of the future.
“While we search for the best suitable and qualified seafarers to run these ships at CSC’s control, we are also interested in forming joint ventures with appropriate entities in certain areas of operation. As ship operation and management are sophisticated functions at present, CSC is confident in acquiring these services from the industry’s best experts as a passion towards lifting the National Sea Career. Therefore, we welcome the sharing of knowledge and expertise by those who consider this endeavour as a matter of national importance at large,” he concluded.
Therefore, it is a paramount duty of the country’s shipping professionals to join hands with the Ceylon Shipping Corporation in realising the goals of the State at a juncture where CSC is converting itself into the new age of ship owning from its lost glory over the past years.