The Hambantota International Port (HIP) is supporting Colombo Dockyard PLC (CDPLC) to handle running repairs to vessels while they remain afloat in the harbour. The majority of vessels directed to HIP for afloat repairs come with damages experienced below the water line. CDPLC carries out permanent repairs on these ships with service assistance from HIP.
“Usually repairs of this nature require us to bring the vessel into dry docks, but we are confident of doing such operations efficiently at HIP. HIP has the berthing capacity and capability to handle afloat repairs along with our expert team. Handling dry docking services afloat is a valuable saving of time for our vessels, especially when they are carrying cargo and incurring demurrage costs. The facilities available at HIP makes this complex service possible, and we are able to carry out our permanent repairs without the ship having to go elsewhere with a temporary fix,” says Praneeth Rajapakse, Head of Afloat Repairs, CDPLC.
Recently, CDPLC directed MV Sandpiper for afloat repairs at HIP. The Sandpiper had damaged its stern tube aft seal unit during a cargo operation in Bangladesh and sought dry docking services. However, CDPLC recommended afloat repairs at HIP which was a much more convenient and cost-effective solution.
“HIP being the closest in the region to east west shipping lanes, makes the port an ideal destination for ships requiring any type of repairs and we have the necessary skills, and deep draft berthing capacity to handle afloat services, which will be a value addition to the shipping industry. We plan on aggressively promoting this service in the coming year,” says Tissa Wickramasinghe, COO of Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG).
The MV Sandpiper which completed the repairs successfully, is now back in operation. An equally complex repair was handled by CDPLC on MV Sunny Hill, while she was berthed at Hambantota International Port in March this year.