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Two new ships for Sri Lanka's Mercantile Shipping

Two new ships for Sri Lanka's Mercantile Shipping

Colombo: The Sri Lankan-German joint venture Mercantile Shipping Company has announced that it has ordered two 7,800dwt multi-purpose vessels worth a combined EUR25m ($36.5m) from a Netherlands based yard. The vessels, which will boast their own cranes for handling break bulk and container cargo, will be funded by a cobination of the company's own resources, international loans and a shipbuilding grant from the Dutch government.

"The ships will fly the Sri Lanka flag and will be crewed by Sri Lankans so they are going to be Sri Lankan ships," Stephan Kuehl, Mercantile Shipping Company general manager told Lanka Business. "I believe this is the first time a private shipping company in Sri Lanka is getting new buildings."  

There has been a tendency amongst owners in the country to acquire second-hand tonnage due to the high costs of building a vessel. However, the current craze for vessels, both new and old, has increased prices to the point where newbuild prices are comparable to second-hand purchases.  [18/01/08]