Sri Lanka should fast track the proposal to use Trincomalee harbour as a base for “hot and cold lay ups” (anchoring and maintaining of ships when not in use), said Executive Chairman Ceyline Group and CINEC Campus Capt. Ajith Peiris. (Pictured)
“In addition ship repair facilities too should be promoted in this harbour which is one of the largest natural harbours in the world.”
Capt. Peiris said that the global shipping industry witnesses many ships that are idling specially in the passenger and cruise segment and Trincomalee harbour can play the role of a hub for hot and cold lay ups.
A prolonged layup will generally see reduced crewing and limited technical operations, also meaning the ship could take weeks to be ready to return to service. During “hot laying up“ a ship is idle, but can be brought back into service at short notice.
“Cold laying up” means that the ship is taken out of service due to lack of employment and is moored or anchored at a safe place waiting for new employment. Capt. Peiris said that during “hot and cold laying up” Sri Lankan staff can supervise the upkeep of the ship generating new avenues of employment and the biggest advantage for this is that staff do not need high qualification to man it. “In addition to Trincomalee harbour, Sri Lanka Ports Authority too could get unprecedented unbudgeted revenue from this novel initiative.”
Due to the pandemic a once unforeseen scenario is now reality especially in the passenger segment and the income associated with a ‘hot layup’ is estimated to be around at USD 2 to USD 3 million per month per vessel. He said that the SLPA would have installed floating buoys in the harbour premises in the bay as part of this operation to help the ship to be in one location.
“In addition the message that Trincomalee is open to entertain and maintain ships for ‘hot and cold lay ups’ should also be conveyed to the globe shipping industry and business will start rolling in.”
He said that the industry headed by him had made a proposal in this regard to the Minister of Ports Rohitha Abeygunawardane and Cabinet approval too was received for this proposal. “However this proposal was delayed due to various reasons including the pandemic and this should be once again activated.”
He also said that due to the geographical location Trincomalee harbour can be used as a major ship repair hub and this proposal too should be pursued and a suitable international ship repairing company player should be found to start this project as a JV.