River Yard

July 21, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan ship builder Colombo Dockyard has begun building a ferry for passengers in the former northern war zone using a new yard on a river close to Colombo port, a statement said. The 100-passenger launch is being built for the state-owned Road Development Authority and will be used to ferry passengers between the northern Jaffna peninsula and a nearby island.

Colombo Dockyard, a unit of Japan’s Onomichi Dockyard, said it was the first project at its newly acquired ‘Kelani River Yard’, just north of Colombo port where it has its main shipyard.

Once complete, the hull will be floated down the river and brought to the yard at the port.

“Colombo Dockyard’s expansion of facilities to the ‘Kelani River Yard’ for construction of small ships and for pre-processing of steel plates and pipes intended for large ship construction will ease congestion within the main shipyard premises,” it said.

The passenger launch will be suitable for operation in rough weather conditions and will boost the small fleet of launches now in operation and used by thousands of northern commuters in the post-war era.

Normal life and economic activity in the north has resumed wi