Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation has proposed awarding a contract of supplying half a dozen medium ferries to Karnafuly Ship Builders Ltd.
In a proposal placed to the cabinet committee on national purchases on December 24, the state-owned ship operating agency made the recommendation for awarding the contract to the Chattogram-based ship builder.
BIWTC officials on condition of anonymity said that Karnafuly Ship Builders Ltd beat its lone rival Khulna Shipyard Limited under the Bangladesh Navy quoting lowest Tk 139.47 crore in a competitive bidding.
They said the proposal for awarding the contract is scheduled to be reviewed on Wednesday in a meeting of the cabinet committee on national purchases.
The procurement of six ferries is part of the BIWTC’s initiatives to buy 35 commercial and 8 auxiliary vessels and construction of two slipways under a project to be implemented at a cost of Tk 1,253.73 crore by June, 2022.
On 29 July, 2018, the executive committee of the national economic council approved the project aiming at improving BIWTC’s aging fleet.
At present, the BIWTC has 40 ferries and 14 ships, said its director (admin) Syed Md Tajul Islam.
The last major procurement by the BIWTC were two modern passenger steamers - MV Bangali and MV Madhumati - in 2014 and in 2015 respectively, said Islam, also the project director of buying 35 commercial and 8 auxiliary vessels and construction of two slipways.
Western Marine Shipyard Ltd, a private company, supplied the vessels—each 76-metre long and at a total cost of Tk 535.38 crore.
Tajul Islam said they could not meet the current deadline for completing the current procurement of 35 commercial and 8 auxiliary vessels, and construction of two slipways.
He said they would require one more year.
BIWTC’s operating profit has been decreasing in recent years as the amount of Tk 61 crore in 2014-15 dropped to Tk 5.33 crore in 2017-18.
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