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Six new vessels to be added to BSC’s fleet

  • Published at 10:09 pm April 23rd, 2018
Six new vessels to be added to BSC’s fleet
The state-run Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) is to get six new vessels including three bulk carriers and three product oil tankers for diesel transport within the next 12 months. One of the three bulk carriers, the “MV Banglar Joyjatra”, has been built by China and will be launched in Beijing today with a ceremony to be attended by Bangladesh Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan. “The new vessel will help in breaking the monopoly of foreign companies in Bangladesh’s shipping business,” the minister said before leaving for China on Sunday. The “MV Banglar Joyjatra” has a capacity of 39,000 Deadweight tonnage (DWT) and will be delivered to Bangladesh on July 5, 2018 by the Chinese National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC). The BSC is purchasing the bulk freighters and oil tankers under a government-to-government (G2G) agreement with China as it bids to rebuild the corporation, which was formed by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1974 to facilitate regional and international trade.
The marine workshop in Chittagong is still not being properly equipped for maintenance work
BCS officials told the Dhaka Tribune that the state-run fleet once numbered 38 vessels, but had shrunk to only three due to a lack of maintenance, skilled manpower and proper equipment. “The BNP government broke the state-run shipping company, now we are trying to recover the business again,” Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan said. Sources, however, said that even if the fleet is rebuilt, the marine workshop in Chittagong is still not being properly equipped for maintenance work. “The workshop does not have skilled engineers (and) the company does not have a dockyard or shipyard with all the necessary facilities,” said one official, seeking anonymity. “Unless these problems are resolved, the company cannot successfully run its operation even if it procures more vessels.” BCS Managing Director Commodore HR Bhuiyan accepted the company had suffered years of negligence by the authorities concerned. The BCS liner service on the Bangladesh-Japan route was suspended in 1998 due to a lack of export cargo from Bangladesh. Even just a decade ago, BCS ran a regular liner service for break bulk cargo on the now-defunct Bangladesh-UK-Europe-Africa route. The scaling back of BCS liner services has given rise to private services run by at least 100 shipping companies. Although the private liner services are costlier, freight businesses are forced to use them because there is no other alternative. The three existing BSC vessels are occasionally used as feeder vessels on routes from Chittagong to Singapore and Malaysia, and from Chittagong Sri Lanka.