December 14, 2010 16:36 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 14 (Bernama) -- Shipbuilder NGV Tech Sdn Bhd is collaborating with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co Ltd (DSME) to construct two 75.9-metre training-cum-patrol vessels for the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN).
"In the period of 24 months, we will collaborate to design, build and deliver the naval vessels," NGV Tech Executive Chairman Datuk Zulkifli Shariff told reporters after the contract signing ceremony here today.
"DSME will do the retail design; the vessel blocks will be transported to Malaysia and we will start joining it together at our 24-hectare shipyard in Sijangkang," he added.
NGV Tech builds about 40 ships annually, generating about RM500 million in revenue.
Zulkifli said the company had previously built and delivered naval vessels for foreign countries but the new units were bigger and more elaborate and sophisticated in design and capabilities.
"This will be our maiden project with the RMN. And with our local manpower and experience to be derived from DSME, we are confident that we will produce superb marine vessels for them," he said.
He also revealed that both vessels would be worth about RM150 million to RM180 million each depending on the negotiation outcomes.
Meanwhile, NGV Tech has also offered DSME to design the Multi Role Support Ship (MRSS) which the RMN has a need as well.
"We will start the retail design as per the requirements of the RMN and once orders have been confirmed, we can start building immediately," he said.
Currently, the company is in talks with other potential MRSS buyers, namely Nigeria and Egypt.
"By doing the design first, we can save about 20 months as designing this kind of vessels is time consuming, especially when MRSS is a large vessel which is 157 metres in length," he said.
He added, the MRSS could cost potential buyers about RM1.2 billion to RM1.3 billion each.
Present at the ceremony today were former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed and DSME President and Chief Executive Officer Nam Sang-Tae.
Nam said the deal with NGV Tech was the first of its kind for DSME.
"I think this is a good starting point for us although we do not see any significant impact in the near term," he said, expecting more collaborations with NGV Tech in future.
The other good news is that NGV Tech has also gone ahead with the retail design of their proposed MRSS, so if the Navy finally gets approval to order the ships, it is expected to shave 20 months from the lead time as the building can be started immediately. The below design is supposedly by Daewoo. Can we expect something in a similar vein for Malaysia? But what interest me more is the fact that Daewoo built the Submarine Rescue Ship for the Korean Navy. Maybe we can also parlay their participation to either build a similar ship or get cooperation for submarine rescue in the unlikely event an accident happens.