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18 March, 2018 12:21:52 AM

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Building warships locally

DEEPAK ACHARJEE
Building warships locally

The Chittagong Dry Dock Ltd (CDDL) has started the process of building six big frigates for the Bangladesh Navy. Already, 12 international shipbuilding companies have expressed interest to CDDL—an enterprise of Bangladesh Navy—to jointly build the frigates.

CDDL authorities are now scrutinising the proposals, with an aim to start construction work within this year.

Of the 12 overseas ship-building companies, one company from Italy—Fincantieri, French shipbuilding company STX, Damen Shipyards from Denmark, two UK-based companies—Cammell Laird shipyard and Babcock International, two Chinese shipbuilding companies—China Shipbuilding and offshore International Co.

Ltd. (CSOC) and China Shipbuilding Trading Co. Ltd. (CSTC),  and two Indian companies— Reliance and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd, Singapore’s Singapore Technologies Marine Ltd, and three South Korean shipbuilders—Daewoo, Posco Daewoo Corporation, and Hyundai, have expressed interest to build the frigates.

For building these big warships with modern equipment and devices, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has recently given her approval-in-principal (AIP).

 

Time frame

 Mohammad Nazmul Karim Kislu, the managing director (MD) of CDDL Commodore, told The Independent that the company was asked by the Bangladesh Navy to build the six frigates, to implement the Vision 2030 plan of building a three-dimensional force.

“We expect to start constructing the ships within this year, in cooperation with foreign warship-building companies, under the joint-venture system,” he said.

“We are scrutinising the initial proposals and we will invite tender for constructing the frigates, after finalising the proposals,” he added.

“Some of the overseas shipbuilders have submitted financial proposals to us. We are hoping that the rest will submit their financial and technical proposals within the shortest possible time. We will then prepare a short list of the companies,” the CDDL MD said.

“We will build the frigates in three phases—two frigates by 2022, two more by 2025, and rest within 2030, as per the master plan of the naval force,” he added.

Commodore Kislu confirmed that CDDL plans to start building the first two frigates within this year.

 

Joint venture

 The CDDL MD disclosed that the warships will be built under a joint venture or government-to-government (G2G) deal, with the reputed warship building foreign companies. He informed that the frigates will have a 30-year lifespan each.

Commodore Kislu, a senior officer from Bangladesh Navy, said that C-level officials of the interested overseas shipbuilding companies, along with their technical teams, have visited the site where the warships would be constructed.

“We have the required space and manpower for constructing big warships. We also have big dockyards. We are setting up a design house to design the 'Made in Bangladesh' warships,” he said.

He informed that they will also build a ‘ship-testing towing tank’ at the Chittagong Dry Dock Limited.

“After meeting the demand of Bangladesh Navy, we will start building frigates for other countries,” Commodore Kislu said. He said CDDL also has plans to build merchant ships in future.

At present, CDDL is engaged in building new ships, pontoons and mooring buoys. The navy enterprise is also manufacturing all types of steel structures of various industries, and is into fabrication of portable steel bridges. It also undertakes engineering work related to repair and maintenance of various port facilities. The public sector company also imports steel and ship-building raw material for own consumption, as well as the domestic markets.

CDDL profile

 The CDDL is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company for ship design and shipbuilding (both warships and commercial vessels). It has license for exporting new ships and products. It is re-engining/repowering/major renovation of machinery, equipment of all types of vessels. CDDL is a member of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce.

CDDL is a profitable industry and fulfilling its annual target for the last two consecutive years. The company carries out huge welfare for the employees which includes incentive bonus, food, treatment, uniform, safety gears, easy term loans, Hajj etc. The company also takes care of its employees' families with funds for children's education, scholarships, and healthcare and housing facilities.

Bangladesh being a maritime and riverine country, there is a huge demand for ships and large vessels. At present, Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Coast Guard are operating more than 100 ships, at home and in international waters. More than 75 Bangladeshi-flagged ships are operating as feeder vessels to Singapore and Colombo. There is a huge demand for inland ships in domestic markets now. Market demand for ships is very high, compared to ship-building capacity.

The future goal of CDDL is to increase capacity building for constructing large warships and merchant ships. CDDL is planning to establish a design house and model testing facility for all shipyards of Bangladesh Navy.

CDDL has the only dry dock in Bangladesh, located on the bank of the river Karnaphuli on 48 acres of land within the Chittagong Port area. The dry dock was designed and constructed in the late Sixties, with technical assistance from the then Yugoslavia. It commenced commercial operation in July 1985.

CDDL can perform a wide range of medium to heavy engineering work to support local industries, including complete vessel renovation and conversions.

Over the years, CDDL has completed countless repairs and maintenance of commercial vessels of various sizes and types, including warships of Bangladesh Navy, ships of Bangladesh Shipping Corporation and Chittagong Port Authority. CDDL is now constructing container vessels for Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTC).

On December 23, 2015, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed over the Chittagong Dry Dock Limited (CDDL), whose motto is ‘Believe in quality, time and customer satisfaction’, to Bangladesh Navy as its enterprise. Earlier, it was an enterprise of the Bangladesh Steel & Engineering Corporation (BSEC), a state-owned organisation.

Bangladesh Navy has prepared a master plan, envisaging a spending of thousands of crores of taka, to ensure security of the country's 118,813 sq km of sea territory.

There are three shipbuilding workshops—Chittagong Dry Dock Ltd, Khulna Shipyard and Dockyard, and Engineering Works Ltd in Narayanganj—operating under Bangladesh Navy.

On December 24, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who also holds the defence portfolio, expressed hope that the Bangladesh Navy will soon be able to export warships. She said this in a speech during the President Parade at Bangladesh Naval Academy.

Bangladesh Navy has a long-term plan to build ships in the Bangladesh Navy yards for various maritime agencies of Bangladesh, to secure the country's maritime interests, as well as to step into shipbuilding to support the government in attaining its Sustainable Development Goal and target of becoming a Blue Economy.

EA

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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