Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) has signed an agreement with India’s Goa Shipyard Ltd to obtain a much-needed floating dock worth $20 million as a grant. The dock is to be constructed at SLN dockyard in Trincomalee within the next 30 months, SLN spokesman said.
“Floating dock is of paramount necessity to SLN for underwater maintenance and repair of ships and vessels belonging to SLN efficiently. The dry dock presently belonging to SLN can only facilitate underwater repairs of vessels and boats weighing less than 350 tonnes,” a navy spokesman stated.
SLN explained that languishing in waiting lists, underwater repair servicing of larger vessels and boats belonging to SLN is now done through the private sector.
“This procedure causes long delays, affecting the lifetime of the vessels,” the navy stated.
Having discussed with navies of the friendly nations in the neighbouring region and carrying out studies from 2015 to 2017, SLN had been finally recommended to obtain a floating dock of its own.
Subsequently, Sri Lanka had discussed with India on securing a floating dock from the latter at the Military Staff level meetings. In 2020, SLN had received green light from the Cabinet of Ministers to obtain a floating dock from India as a grant and approval was given to select Goa Shipyard Ltd from which the SLN had previously procured two Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessels in 2017 and 2018, the navy spokesman said.
“With the floating dock from Goa Shipyard Ltd valued at $20 million, SLN will be able to save $2.1 million (600 million Sri Lankan rupee) annually,” he said.