CSC to add two vessels to fleet | Sunday Observer

CSC to add two vessels to fleet

11 October, 2020
Wineendra Weeraman
Wineendra Weeraman

The supply of coal to the Lakvijaya power plant at Norochcholai will be doubled with the addition of two vessels to the fleet by the next season boosting the revenue of the country’s oldest national carrier, said a senior official of the Ceylon Shipping Corporation Ltd. (CSC) last week.

CSC Chairman Wineendra Weeraman said the addition of two vessels to the current fleet will help increase the supply of coal to Norochcholai by over 50 percent by the next season.

The coal supply season spans from mid September to mid April. The CSC conducts charter operations to many destinations across the globe.CSC operates two cargo vessels and supplies around 2.2 million MT of coal to the Lakvijaya power plant per season.

“We are confident of getting the two vessels by the next season which will also help us increase charter operations which is also a major revenue source to State coffers,” Weeraman said. At present, CSC supplies around 25 percent of the coal needs of Lakvijaya.

“By increasing the fleet we will pay off the loan obtained to acquire Ceylon Breeze and Ceylon Princes in 2016 and save the drain of foreign exchange from the country to hire vessels for import and export,” Weeraman said. The two vessels were obtained with a 100 percent USD loan facility from a State bank at a very high interest rate.

“We were able to pay back USD 30 million within a short period, as at September 2020,” the CSC chief said, adding that CSC is ready to face any scenario as it withstood storms of the pandemic.

CSC plans to recommence feeder operations between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with a different modality to which was operated by CSC in the 1980s.

“There is a proposal from Bangladesh Shipping Corpration to operate a joint container feeder operation by either acquiring two cargo vessels on long term charter basis or sign an MoU with existing operators to operate with the Sri Lankan flag. CSC set up in 1971 as a fully government owned commercial enterprise was the South Asian carrier to start container services from South Asia to Europe in 1980.

The carrier has helped many non traditional export produces to enter global markets and set up footholds when freight was prohibited and sailing was minimal.