Two CSC ships to be sold due to payments crisis

Sri Lanka is seeking buyers for two Chinese built bulk carrier ships purchased in the past five months by Ceylon Shipping Corporation (CSC) with a People’s Bank loan the corporation is unable to pay back the loans. Bids are to be soon called from interested parties for this purpose. The two ships were intended for transporting of thermal coal imported for the coal fired power plant in the country. The first ship was delivered in October last year and the second in January this year. The loan payment to People’s Bank for the loan facility obtained for the purchase of the ships is due soon and the CSC is not in a position to make payments, official sources said.

In a memorandum, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has stated that the economic management committee recommendation was to sell the ships and establish a joint venture for the operations of the two ships with the private sector buyer or any other party who owns the ships for this purpose. The loan agreement for the purchase of two 63,600 MT DWT bulk carrier ships was signed between the CSC and the People’s Bank in 2014.  The ships each valued at US$35 million were built by AVIC International Beijing Company Ltd, a company that has had several contracts with the previous regime.