Dhaka, Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Ship builders seek interest subsidy scheme

Ship builders seek interest subsidy scheme

Staff Correspondent : Western Marine Shipyard last week launched the country’s first offshore patrol vessel (OPV) “Doria” for its foreign buyer at the shipyard in Chittagong. The OVP vessel was handed over to its Danish buyer and will be exported to the Kenyan government, its end user, shortly.

The WMS launched the vessel marking a milestone in the country’s emerging ship building industry. It has an overall length of 54.70 metre and can be operated at a maximum speed of 35 knots. It will be operated in the Indian ocean of East Africa. The vessel has been built for a Danish buyer JGH Marine A/S and the end user would be Kenyan Ministry of Fisheries, Livestock and Agriculture and Blue Economy wing.

The agreement for building the vessel was signed between the JGH Marine and the Kenyan Government in 2012. The vessel will be used in the maritime territory of the Republic of Kenya for the security of sea resources and also to expedite the assistance in natural calamities. Shipping Secretary Ashoke Madhab Roy, Commander of Chittagong Naval Area, Bangladesh Navy M Abu Ashraf, minister Willy Bett and principal secretary of the Kenyan Ministry Micheni Japhet Ntiba, Danish ambassador to Bangladesh Mikael Hemniti Winther and CEO of JGH Marine, Denmark Niels Holstein were present on the occasion as guests.

Mr Holstein expressed satisfaction over the progress in building and quality of construction of the vessel and thanked the Western Marine Shipyard. Shipping Secretary Ashoke Madhab Roy assured the ship builders of providing all-out support to the ship-building industry from the government.

Managing Director of Western Marine Shipyard Md Sakhawat Hossain said the country had made a good reputation in the global market at a short span of time through exports of their quality products in many countries.

A total of 40 ships were exported over the last five years, which has brought the company remittances worth more than US$150 million. Western Marine alone has exported 25 ships, he said.

He said that ship building is a capital intensive industry and as such those who have invested in the industry are facing multiple challenges.

For sustainability of the industry, the government should introduce a long-term interest-subsidy scheme.

He said that Chinese, Korean and Indian ship builders are receiving low interest loan, special subsidy and export facility from their respective governments.