Sri Lanka’s Dockyard eyes LNG storage, hi-tech, smaller vessels
Colombo Dockyard, Sri Lanka’s listed shipyard, is changing its shipbuilding strategy and aiming to build high-technology, high-value vessels in the small to mid-size range, its chairman Toru Takehara said.
The yard has been struggling in recent years with cancelled orders for new ships and severe competition for new orders with the protracted downturn in the shipping cycle.
“(Colombo Dockyard) is aiming at orders for high-density, high-tech vessels with high value addition, small to mid-size due to the dock size restrictions for new shipbuilding,” Takehara told shareholders in the firm’s annual report.
“The target new shipbuilding market is special construction/support vessels (such as cable laying vessels, offshore support vessels, dredgers, and fishing boats), small-mid size passenger boats, (and) coastguard patrol boats.”
Takehara also said the yard was eying small size Liquified Natural Gas storage facilities in the Europe, Middle East, Japan, and Southwest Asia market zone given the shift towards LNG in many countries.
In 2018, the gate width of Colombo Dockyard’s new shipbuilding dock number two was expanded from 18.5m to 23m to get more business opportunities by accommodating wider vessels.
The yard is now building a cable laying vessel for a Japanese owner with ship design by a Norwegian ship-design company.
“By including this new vessel into our construction record, (Colombo Dockyard) is able to differentiate from other competing shipyards by high quality and advanced shipbuilding capability,” Takehara said.