Sri Lankan boat building company supplies 40 crafts to Indian Navy

Also caters to a gamut of global orders


Flashback: Minister Rishad Bathiudeen visiting the Solas Marine Lanka boat building facility.

By Ifham Nizam

A Sri Lankan company specializing in building fast track naval craft has supplied 40 boats to the Indian Navy. More new orders are in the pipeline due to the manufacturer’s high technical standards accepted worldwide.

General Manager, Solas Marine Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd., S. D. Premathilaka said that the Indian Navy had placed an order for 80 craft, 40 has already been supplied. "The Indian government has also signed an annual maintenance contract with the company".

He says that in terms of the current market rate each boat costs US$ 2 million. However, they are supplied to the Indian Navy at a lesser price as the agreement was signed in 2012.

"We have the capacity to build four boats in 60 days", he said. "Sri Lanka is considered the best in the South Asian region for boat-building. That’s why we are getting offers from all parts of the world".

Premathilaka, who worked for the Oman Navy earlier, said that already many foreign Ambassadors and defense personnel have shown a keen interest to acquire boats from the company. Maldives, Brazil, Nigeria, Oman, Kenya, South Africa and Saudi Arabia have requested for boats.

He said that Solas Marine Lanka, incorporated and registered in Sri Lanka Colombo in September, 2008, is an associate concern of Solas Marine Services Group, the flagship company based in UAE.

The GM said that Industries and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, through the Export Development Board, supported the company to reach the international market.

Solas Marine Lanka is a BOI-approved company accredited with ISO 9001:2008 by DET NORSKE VERITAS (DNV) to design and construct all types of FRP (Composite) Boats and Yachts in the world. The company’s workshops have been approved by Germanischer Lloyd and Indian Register of Shipping for FRP manufacturing and repairing.

The yard is equipped with all relevant workshops, conditions controlled molding bay, design department, production floor with overhead cranes, administration complex, including qualified and experience engineers, Managers and 60 technicians. Production is also being continuously monitored by the Quality Assurance Department, he said.

 "Venturing into boat making is a step towards diversifying our work to provide a whole range of activities allied to shipping and marine services. Our target customers would be the fishing industry, High Networth Individuals (HNIs), tourism sector, naval and defense forces and other government agencies around the world," he noted.

Premathilaka said the company has supplied craft to international markets in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Solomon Island, The Philippines, Holland, Maldives, Vietnam, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea, Australia and France.

"We have catered to the needs of the Sri Lankan security forces and police and the Indian Navy", he explained. "Now our key focus is on foreign markets".

Speaking on Safety and Quality, he said:  "Our workshop and production are always maintained in keeping with the standards required by LR (Lloyd’s Register) of the UK, DNV (Det Norske Veritas), ABS ( American Bureau of Shipping ), GL (Germanischer Lloyds), IRS (Indian Register of Shipping) keeping in mind the convenience of the customer when it comes to maintenance and cost."


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