BSC moves to buy 8 more ships with Chinese funds

Dhaka,  Fri,  22 September 2017
Published : 14 May 2017, 20:59:19

BSC moves to buy 8 more ships with Chinese funds

Syful Islam

The Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) has moved forward to buy eight more vessels with Chinese funds worth Tk 20 billion while six other vessels are under construction to enrich its fleet, sources said.

In this regard, proposal will be sent to the Economic Development Cooperation Fund (EDCF), China for financing the four projects under which these vessels will be bought.

With Chinese Exim Bank's funding, three product oil tankers and three bulk carriers at a cost of US$ 184.50 million are under construction which, the BSC expects, will start joining its feet in mid-2018.

Officials said last year the foreign loan search committee in its 35th meeting at the Economic Relations Division (ERD) approved procurement of two chemical/crude oil tankers of 35,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage) each, two mother tankers of 125,000 DWT each, and four cellular container ships of 1,500 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) each.

The two chemical/crude oil tankers will cost the coffer Tk 5.62 billion while the two mother tankers Tk 8.01 billion and the four cellular container ships Tk 7.04 billion, officials said.

The committee decided that the EDCF, China will be proposed to fund the procurement.  

A senior official at the ministry of shipping (MoS) told the FE that in line with the decision of the foreign loan search committee, the finance minister's consent is sought before sending the proposal to China for funding the procurement.

He said Chinese companies are ready with enough funds in hand to finance the projects in Bangladesh. Several memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed with Chinese companies to fund BSC procurement, he said.

According to BSC officials, the corporation has set a target to procure 21 vessels by 2021 in line with the government's Vision-2021.

It has planned to carry the entire load of coal the Rampal power plant will need once it goes into operation. The BSC is in talks with the power plant authority in this regard.
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