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:: Shipbuilders can fetch $40b a year ~
Despite having huge prospect to develop, the country’s nascent shipbuilding sector has been suffering from lack of pro business policy and logistic supports from the government. “We are working on a policy guideline for the ship building industries in the country and it would be declared very soon,” Industries minister Dilip Barua told the Independent, recently.

Asked what the policy would contain, the minister said, “Nothing has been finalised, everything is in the process.” He, however, said a policy for the ship breaking industries comprising issues, such as, health hazard compliance, medical coverage, wages for the workers and binding for the owners, has already been declared. Recently, a company named, Khan Brothers Shipbuilding Ltd (KBSL), set up a shipyard on 300 bighas of land in Munshiganj district on the river Meghna which is considered to be the biggest shipyard in the country.

The company received an order to make ocean going ships worth $ 133.3 million from a German company, Phoenix Reederei.

KBSL chairman Mohammed Enamul Kabir Khan said, the shipyard would contribute to the country's growing ship export sector. Khan said the EU countries are now showing keen interest to get their ships built by us.
Director (Technical) of KBSL Dr Abdur Rahim said, EU countries are going to implement 'EU Double Skin Regulation 2012', which will require replacement of nearly 55 per cent of their ocean going ships capacities between 5000 dwt (deadweight tonnes) and 15000 dwt.

This regulation can be a boon for our ship export sector if we manage to grab even a small portion of export orders, he said.

He expressed his optimism that this EU regulation would completely be implemented by 2014 and by that time Bangladesh would be prepared to grab the market. According to Rahim, the local ship building industry has a potential to handle 8 to 10 per cent of the global ship manufacturing market, annual turnover of which is around $420 billion. It could help the country fetch nearly $40 billion a year in the near future.

Insiders said China, South Korea and Singapore were the major shipbuilding nations but the buyers are gradually switching away from these countries, following significant rise in labour cost there.

As a result, the buyers are moving towards other labour intensive nations, such as Indonesia, India and Bangladesh for cost effectiveness. “We can deliver a ship at least at a price 50 per cent lower than of those countries,” said an owner of an export oriented shipyard.

The other shipyards which received orders from foreign buyers and delivered built-up ships are: Western Marine Shipyards, Ananda Shipyard and Slipways, Khulna Shipyard, Meghna Shipbuilders and Dockyard, Karnaphuli Shiyard and Marine Craft Shipyard.

Western Marine Shipyard delivered four vessels to a German owner recently. Among theses, two 100-metre ice-class vessels -- EMS Lake and EMS Dollart -- each has a capacity of 5,200 deadweight tonnage and a speed of 12 nautical miles per hour. The vessels were built at Tk 80 crore each under a Tk 960 crore projects meant to deliver 12 ships to the same German company within 2012, company sources said.
Ananda Shipyard made a landmark in history by exporting ship in 2008 to Denmark.

Ananda also exported “Stella Maris” in 2008 and “Stella Moon” in 2010 to Stella Shipping in Denmark. Presently, Ananda Shipyard has an order from Germany for a total of 10 seagoing vessels, worth more than US$ 112.00 million. A suitable location, good communication and regular power supply are necessary for this sector, they said. If the government earmark several exclusive areas ensuring the facilities, it would give extra impetus for the development of the sector.

According to study, main constraints of shipbuilding are high interest rates, lack of sufficient credit from local banks and barriers to hire foreign experts.
According to sources, the government had committed to establish two separate industrial zones exclusively for the shipbuilding industries.

The zones were declared to be created on the south bank of river Karnaphuli in Chittagong and in Barisal. But there is hardly any progress in this regard. As a result, the progress in the sector is very slow. Currently, there are around 200 small, medium and large shipyards in the country.
All the shipbuilding yards have been developed in the private sector.

Meghna Shipbuilders and Dockyard Ltd. in Narayanganj, a unit of Meghna Group of Industries, is now building 12 costal tankers.

The tankers, each 1500 dead weight tonnage capacity, will be deployed in the existing tanker fleets of the oil companies for carrying their petroleum products from the coast to the district level destinations, particularly to power houses,” the Meghna Group sources said.

Making of each vessel costs Tk 8-10 crore depending on the materials used.

“We have finished making four vessels and started to make another 12 at a time,” said Mostofa Kamal, chairman and managing director of the group, which imports and markets almost all major essential commodities from soybean oil to sugar, wheat and pulses.

The manufacturing costs of 12 ships would stand at around Tk 100 crore, according to Kamal. The vessels are being made at the group’s dockyard at Meghnaghat in Narayanganj.

Source :

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