The shipping sector is witnessing a 10 to 15% drop in business due to the Easter Sunday attacks, General Manager Ship Repairs, Colombo Dockyard, Bennie Fernando said. Speaking at a special felicitation event for their agents and the shipping sector at Marino Hotel, Colombo 3, he said that this is however less than the impact seen in the tourism sector.
â€œWe have lost business running to a couple of millions of dollars since ships are not keen to call over for repairs to Colombo Port and also place new orders due to the current security concernsâ€. Similar to the Travel sector, Fernando also said that shipping industry too is affected by the adverse travel advisories, especially from European countries as some of them were the main buyers. â€œThough some EU travel advisories are toned down, we are yet to see a positive move from The Netherland which is one of their largest buyers.
He however said that the Colombo Dockyard swiftly acted and has managed to convince their overseas clients that Sri Lanka is now safe to do business once again. D.V. Abeysinghe MD/CEO Colombo Dockyard PLC while acknowledging that they have lost business in the aftermath of Easter Sunday blasts said that they are once again consolidating their businesses.
â€œWe have built a US$ 50 million worth sophisticated cable laying vessel for Japan and this is the biggest single order we have done so far.â€ This Cable Laying Vessel is a high technology vessel, which is intended for subsea operation and cable installation and repair works of â€˜optical cablesâ€™ as well as â€˜power cablesâ€™ adding to the versatility of the vessel.
CDL recently also built and delivered an Underwater Restaurant to a Maldivian hotel. He said that to meet the future demands of the shipping industry they also launched a 24/7 Rapid Response Afloat Repair Service (RRARS) to undertake any mid sea repair. â€œWe have a subsidiary company, Dock Tech Service (DTS) and trained staff from this has been assigned too, from this Rapid Response Repair Sectionâ€. CDL operates in joint collaboration with Onomichi Dockyard Company Limited of Japan who owns a stake of 51% at Colombo Dockyard PLC while Sri Lankan Government institutions have a 35% shareholding at Colombo Dockyard.