The Bangladesh Shipping Corporation set to add a new ship, after 27 years, to its fleet on Thursday..

Christened ‘MV Banglar Joyjatra’ with a capacity of 38,894 MT, the flag carrier is going to be handed over by the manufacturer China National Machinery Export and Import  Company, CMC, at Shanghai Port in China.

It is the first ship under the development master plan of BSC to support achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, of the United Nations.

It is going to be added to the BSC fleet between September 2018, to February 2019.

There are five more ships, two bulk carriers ‘MV Banglar Somriddhi’ and ‘ MV Banglar Arjon’, and  ‘MT Banglar Agro Jatra’, ‘MT Banglar Agro Dut’ and ‘MT Banglar Agrogati’ to be included in the BSC fleet under the same master plan.

Mohammad Golamur Rahaman Acting Managing Director of BSC told Bangladesh Post, “This is the beginning for the BSC to move forward for the country’s development, which may lead to BSC’s major contribution to the maritime transportation sector.”

“After adding the new ships in the coming month, the  BSC will turn a profitable company and save a huge amount of foreign currency for the country, he added.

He said, “A delegation of more than 30 members, including shipping staff led by Commodore Yahiya Sayed, MD of BSC are now in China, to receive the ship MV Banglar Joyjatra.”

A BSC source said, the new ship, built at the NYZ Shipyard in China for the BSC, is 180 meters long, with a draft of 10.5 meters. The five hedge ships will be able to transport 38 thousand 894 tonnes of cargo or open goods.

The BSC is working with the government for implementation of the concept of ‘Blue Economy’ a must for sustainable development and eradication of poverty.

The BSC ship acquisition plan includes getting a number of vessels of different types and sizes in addition to the replacement of the existing vessels of the fleet, with a view to increasing carrying capacity of export-import of the country in the government sector following  the 7th Five-Year Plan, Vision-2021 & 2041.

Recently, the BSC has undertaken a number of development projects in line with the overall development activities of the country. Several ship acquisition projects have been undertaken consistent with Single Point Mooring (SPM) project of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).

In addition, considering government’s decision and private initiatives to set up coal-based power plants in various regions of the country, the BSC has taken up a number of ship acquisition projects to carry related cargo.

Besides, BSC has also launched a project for acquisition of LNG carriers in line with the government decision to import LNG for uninterrupted supply to households and industries.

The BSC has also signed an agreement with the CMC (China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation) in Dhaka on April 30 in 2014, to procure a total of six vessels in order to make the state-owned organization a profitable one.

According to Shipping Ministry sources, the China Exim Bank has agreed to provide the concessional loan on G-to-G basis at a very low interest rate.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in this connection was signed with the CMC (China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation) in the Chinese Capital Beijing on June 15 in 2012, when the Bangladesh Prime Minister visited China. CMC is constructing six ships for BSC at a cost of Taka 843 crore. Of these, the government of China is giving Tk 1,448 crore and BSC gives 395 crore taka. Currently there are only two oil tankers, MT Banglar Joyti and MT Banglar Shikha, in the BSC fleet.

Saleh Noman