Western Marine Shipyard has signed a $6.6 million agreement with the New Zealand government to build an oceangoing ship, boosting the country's shipbuilding industry.
This is the sector's first agreement with a government, said Md Sakhawat Hossain, managing director of Western Marine Shipyard, a leading shipbuilder.
“By securing an order from New Zealand for the first time, the industry has stepped into the market for the Pacific,” Hossain said.
The deal was signed between Western Marine and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of New Zealand for building a passenger ship, which will comply with the highest safety measures under the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) convention. Western Marine won the project work through an international tender that was called on September 2013 by New Zealand, Hossain said.
A total of 12 shipyards were selected from Australia, Bangladesh, China, New Zealand, Poland and Singapore for the tender.
British classification Society, Lloyd's Register Group, will oversee the construction of the ocean going vessel. The ship has been designed by Danish firm Knude E Hansen. The 43-metre long ship will be spacious and able to comfortably carry 60 passengers in addition to 50 tonnes of cargo and supplies.
Considering the risks in open waters and the long duration of voyage, passenger conform will be given the highest priority in vessel design, Hossain said.
Environment-friendliness is also a prime concern for the ship, he said.
“A unique feature that will be incorporated into the ship is the use of wind power through the use of aerodynamically efficient marine kites from Skysails Hamburg.”
This arrangement will provide some auxiliary power to the ship.
The ship will be built for Tokelau, a territory of New Zealand in the South Pacific Ocean.
The Tokelau administration will use the ship to carry passengers from Tokelau to Samoa Islands, which is a voyage spanning a few days. The ship will be delivered by December 2014.