Khulna Shipyard Limited has recently signed an agreement with Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) to build four cutter suction dredgers at a cost of Tk423 crore within the next one and half years.
"The expansion of the dredging fleet is set to enhance our capacity and efficiency in dredging which is vital for Bangladesh as a delta," said Captain M Fida Hasan, general manager (design and planning) of Khulna Shipyard.
Khulna Shipyard, an independent government commercial enterprise managed by the Bangladesh Navy, is building cutter suction dredgers for the first time. Earlier, the organisation built a suction dredger for the Navy.
It will also be the first among the three government shipyards in the country to build such dredgers.
Captain M Fida Hasan said Khulna Shipyard is one of the best in the country regarding the use of technology and product quality. So far, it has made 770 ships for different public and private organisations.
According to the Khulna Shipyard general manager, it posted a turnover of Tk780 crore in FY21 amid the raging Covid-19 pandemic.
Captain M Fida Hasan said Khulna Shipyard is the first and the only warship builder in the country. It has built 11 warships for the Bangladesh Navy so far.
The shipyard also provides high quality and cost-effective ship repairing and marine solutions to customers, he said.
Khulna Shipyard can build steel and aluminium ships up to 90m in length and 700 tonnes capacity, said sources at the shipyard.
Captain Fida said, "In 1999 the Bangladesh Navy took charge of Khulna Shipyard, which was in a poor state. Since then, it has emerged as a leading enterprise in the field of shipbuilding and repairing."
He also said, "We have a plan to enhance capacity and skill so that we can export ships abroad. We also emphasise increasing productivity by exchanging skills with international partners."
BIWTA Chief Engineer (dredging) Md Abdul Matin said, "We made an agreement with Khulna Shipyard as we came to know that their building quality is better than others. We have a plan to procure 35 dredgers under a project to enhance government capacity in dredging."
"We have reached agreements with three organisations for seven dredgers of different types including the four dredgers from Khulna Shipyard," he added.
Currently, BIWTA has 45 dredgers.