Walkers Colombo to build more vessels for Sanken Overseas | Sunday Observer

Walkers Colombo to build more vessels for Sanken Overseas

PICTURE BY Mahinda Vithanachchi    The 23-metre self-propelled barge, the ‘Fat Lady’
PICTURE BY Mahinda Vithanachchi The 23-metre self-propelled barge, the ‘Fat Lady’

Sanken Overseas Maldives (Pvt) Ltd. which signed an agreement with Walkers Colombo Shipyard (Pvt) Ltd. for a new vessel will place orders for more vessels from Walkers Colombo Shipyard in the next couple of years, a top official of Sanken Overseas told guests at a ceremony to mark the launch of the 23-metre self-propelled barge, the ‘Fat Lady’ for Sanken Overseas Maldives last week.

Work on the new US$ 750,000 vessel is expected to be completed within six months according to the official.

The new addition, along with the current fleet of Sanken Overseas Maldives is estimated to bring around US$ 60 million in turnover to the company.

Walkers Colombo Shipyard, a subsidiary of MTD Walkers PLC operates two dry dock ship repair and ship building facilities in the country.

The flat-bottomed boat launched last week was designed and constructed by the in-house team of skilled naval architects and engineers under the guidance of Managing Director of Walkers Colombo Shipyard (Pvt) Ltd., Dr. Sarath Obeysekera, to meet the conditions for operations in Maldives.

The ‘Fat Lady’ comprises a 23.0 m hull length, 7.0 m beam, 2.0 m depth (at loading bay), 1.4 m loaded draft and 69.4 ton gross tonnage. The vessel also has a deck load capacity of 75 tons and a diesel capacity (two tanks, P and S) of 4,000 litres.

Walkers Colombo Shipyard Managing Director Dr. Obeysekera said the company is extremely happy that it was able to construct the vessel within 90 days to fully satisfy and meet the needs of the client.

“We have already received orders for more vessels from Sanken Overseas Maldives and we hope to complete work on them in time,” he said.

Walkers Colombo Shipyard will commence work on a vessel at the Trincomalee shipyard shortly according to an official of the company.

Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said since the Fisheries harbour has been moved to Dickkowita, the Mutwal Harbour should be put in to productive use with ship building and repair operations carried out by Walkers Colombo Shipyard.

The Minister is hopeful that construction of vessels will boost foreign exchange earning for the country and help create employment to youth.

He assured that no state assets will be privatized under any circumstance. However, he said the government with the private sector will draw up plans to put unutilised assets into good use.

MTD Walkers PLC, a fully integrated engineering solutions provider launched its modern ship building and repair facility at the Mutwal Fisheries Harbour in 2015 and then went on to build several vessels including the ‘Seagulf 1’ last year.