• Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Western Marine to build $20m vessel for Kenya

Dwaipayan Barua, Chittagong

Western Marine will build a specialised third generation offshore patrol vessel worth $20 million for the Kenyan government.

The ship will ensure security at the maritime boundary of the African country.

The leading Bangladeshi shipbuilder will start building the vessel today, as Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan is scheduled to inaugurate the work with a keel laying ceremony at the shipyard on the bank of river Karnaphuli in Patiya.

Western Marine received the order through Danish firm JGH Marine A/S on January 23 and is supposed to deliver it to the Kenyan Ministry of Fisheries, Livestock and Agriculture in 2016.

The 54-metre long vessel will operate over a range of more than 1,500 nautical miles in the Indian Ocean off the East African coast.

The vessel marks an upgrade in production capabilities for the local industry. Bangladesh has so far mainly made first and second generation cargo and passenger ships.

Local shipbuilders, including Western Marine, had so far built slow vessels like cargo and passenger ships with only 10 to 15 nautical miles per hour speed capacities.

But the Kenyan vessel will be able to sail at a maximum speed of 35 nautical miles per hour, said Western Marine's Managing Director Sakhawat Hossain.

The vessel will be equipped with fully automatic and electromagnetically compatible equipment, including radar, scanner and other navigational bridge equipment necessary for security monitoring in far waters.

It will also have a helipad for a 5-tonne helicopter. "It is a proud moment for Western Marine after being the first local firm to be able to undertake such a hi-tech project," Hossain said.

Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Last modified: 2:43 am Tuesday, August 12, 2014

TAGS: maritime boundary Western Marine generation Kenyan government Bangladeshi shipbuilder

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