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U.S. Co. Beats Local In SLPA Tndr.

Capt. Asitha Wijesekera

A U.S. company beat both a local and a Singaporean company to win a Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) contract, exemplifying the fact that U.S. companies are globally competitive and not expensive, the successful bidder’s representative told this reporter on Monday (December 23).
Captain Asitha Wijesekera, Managing Director Seaserve llc said that the contract valued at US$ 120,000 entailed the training of SLPA’s ships’ pilots so that they will be able to operate in the new Colombo South Port (CSP) which has a depth of 18 metres compared to the “old” Colombo Port which has in place the JKH operated SAGT terminal and the SLPA operated Jaye container terminal, but which has a maximum depth of only 15 metres, three metres less than the CSP.
The CSP can take new vessels which carry 15,000 twenty foot equivalent units) of containers (TEUs), whereas the old Colombo port can take in careers of only up to 8,000-10,000 TEUs, said Wijesekera.
“The local tenderer whom we beat was CINEC,” said Wijesekera. “We were also cheaper than Singapore.” The tender was held this year.
Wijesekera himself was the President of the Colombo International Nautical and Engineering College (CINEC) before migrating to the USA in 2009.
Training in the U.S.A. for SLPA pilots involved a period of one week at a nautical training school in Baltimore, Maryland, said Wijesekera. It was all simulated training and comprised the training of 20 pilots taken in batches of four so that the work at the SLPA was not disrupted, he said.
The USA doesn’t have ports which go to a depth of 18 metres, further, in this part of the world, it’s only Singapore and Colombo which have ports down to a depth of 18 metres and which can accommodate mega carriers, not even Malaysia has ports of such depths, Wijesekera said.
In training pilots to operate in such environments, what is needed is the constant upgradation of simulated apparatus, and the latest materials, relatively speaking, are not that expensive, he said.

1 Comment for “U.S. Co. Beats Local In SLPA Tndr.”

  1. Reality

    What a waste of foreign exchange to fly 20 persons to the USA and back and get them trained by a country that no knowledge of navigating large ships with 18 meter drafts, as stated above.
    Another waste of funds of the government of Sri Lanka.

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