The government has planned to increase the number of Bangladeshi vessels aiming to save the hard-earned foreign exchange. In line with the plan, state-run Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC) has embarked on an initiative to induct 32 different types of vessels in its fleet by 2041, aiming to make it more profitable side by side improving the service standard for bringing back its past glory.
The 32 vessels include two Chemical/Crude oil tanker of capacity 30,000-35,000 deadweight tonnage (DWT), two Mother tanker of capacity 100,000-125,000 DWT, ten Bulk carriers with 10,000-15,000 DWT capacity and four Container vessels of capacity 1,200-1,500 TEUs. Besides, two Mother product oil tankers (for carrying Diesel) with capacity of minimum 80,000 DWT each, two Mother Bulk carriers (for carrying coal) of capacity minimum 80,000 DWT each and two LNG carrier having capacity of about 140,000 CBM.
Currently, the Shipping Corporation has eight different kinds of vessels in its fleet. According to media reports citing official document, BSC’s ship acquisition plan includes acquirement of a number of vessels of different types and sizes in addition to replacement of the existing ones with a view to increase carrying capacity of export-import of the country in government sector following the 7th Five-year plan, Vision-2021 & 2041.
Recently 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 by BSC in consistent with Single Point Mooring (SPM) project of Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC).
Besides, considering the government and private initiatives to set up coal-based power plants in various regions of the country, the BSC has taken a number of ship acquisition projects to carry cargoes. The BSC has also launched a project for acquisition of LNG carriers in line with the government’s decision of importing LNG for uninterrupted supply to household and industries.
Aiming to increase national flag carrying vessels the government has slashed 15 percent VAT for registration of vessels having capacity of 5,000 DWT. Currently, a total of 47 vessels (from public and private sector) in the country are plying carrying the national flag. As a result, for export and import activities Bangladesh depends on foreign vessels.
In the last five years, the BSC procured two new 100,000-125,000 DWT mother tankers, ten new 10,000-15,000 DWT bulk carriers, two new 80,000 DWT mother bulk carrier for coal carrying, two new 40,000 CBM capacity LNG carriers, four new 1200-1500 TUES cellular containers, two new 80,000 DWT mother product oil tankers for diesel carrying and two new 30,000-50,000 DWT chemical/crude oil tankers.
The BSC made a net profit of Tk 12.5 crore in 2018. Its board has recommended six percent cash dividend for the last year. The government owned 52.10 percent shares of the corporation as of March 31, while institutional investors owned 13.09 and public 34.81 percent, according to the Dhaka Stock Exchange website.