Dec 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka plans to purchase two cargo vessels to infuse new life into the oldest national carrier Ceylon Shipping Corporation Ltd.
The Cabinet of Ministers Monday approved a proposal put forward by the President in his capacity as the Minister of Highways, Ports and Shipping to purchase two Bulk Carriers for the Ceylon Shipping Corporation Ltd. (CSCL).
The purchase of the two ships has been recommended by the Cabinet Appointed Negotiating Committee (CANC).
The Cabinet authorized the government to instruct the Director General of the Department of External Resources to finalize formalities of loan arrangements to purchase the ships.
The two 64,000-tonne bulk carriers will be purchased from China at a cost of US$ 70 million, Cabinet Spokesman and Media and Information Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said today at the press briefing.
The ships will also be used to train Sri Lankan crew, the Minister told the media.
"We will use these two ships to revive the shipping corporation as well as increase the training of our seamen, who are in great demand overseas," the Minister told AFP.
The two Chinese vessels are to be delivered within two years.
CSCL is one of the oldest, experienced and reputed ship's agencies in Sri Lanka and offers liner services for Sri Lankan export and import trades at competitive freight rates.
The government appointed the Sri Lanka Navy Commander Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage as the new Chairman of Ceylon Shipping Corporation in October 2013.