Walkers Colombo Shipyard (Pvt) Ltd. said it has completed building and launched its first vessel, a barge named ‘Seagulf 1’ at its yard in Mutwal Harbour, just north of Colombo port.
The yard, a subsidiary of MTD Walkers PLC, said the barge was designed and built entirely by in-house engineering teams under the guidance of Sarath Obeysekera, managing director of Walkers Colombo Shipyard (Pvt) Ltd.
The shipyard has started building two tug boats, which will be used to assist operations at the shipyard when it commences commercial operations in January 2017, a statement said.
“The 3.5 acre facility, upon completion, will be equipped with a ship lift and transfer system, a first in Sri Lanka’s marine engineering sector, capable of accommodating a broad range of vessels of up to 1,250 tonnes,” it said.
“The commencement of operations at the Group’s first shipyard will provide us a natural hedge and allow us to raise future capital at very competitive rates in the international market,” said Mahesh Yogarajan, executive director of Walkers Colombo Shipyard (Pvt) Ltd.
Walkers also envisages providing much-needed repair services to Sri Lanka’s fishing boat industry by installing boat lifts in many fishery harbours to lift boats of up to 60 tons for repairs.
“We are extremely pleased with the rapid progress made by the Marine Engineering sector of the group and hope to see a growing contribution to revenue and profits from this sector,” said Viraj De Silva, chief financial officer of MTD Walkers PLC and a director of Walkers Colombo Shipyard (Pvt) Ltd.
He said the group’s strategy is to establish shipyards across the island to cater to the growing demand for quality ship repair and shipbuilding services in the Indian Ocean.
MTD Walkers plans to open a ship repair facility in Mutwal Harbour with an investment of $8.5 million.
Funding for the development of the yard was procured through the proceeds of a Rs3.0 billion debenture issue in September 2015.
Walkers Colombo Shipyard operates three docking and repair building facilities in the ports of Colombo, Galle and Trincomalee.
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