Shipbuilders asked to fix substandard steel fishing boats hinh anh 1Steel fishing vessels anchor at Quy Nhon Fishing Port in central Binh Dinh province because of poor quality. (Photo: VNA)

Binh Dinh (VNA) -
Two shipbuilders were found to be violating shipbuilding contracts, delivering dozens of substandard steel fishing vessels to fishermen in central Binh Dinh province.

[Ministry orders inspection of substandard steel fishing boats]

Under the Government Decree 67 dated July 7, 2014 on fishery sector development policies, ship-owners building steel vessels with total main engine capacity between 400CV and 800CV can borrow from commercial banks a sum of money that does not exceed 90 percent of the total investment in the building of the ships.

The interest rate is 7 percent per year, of which ship-owners are required to pay 2 percent per year, while the State budget will subsidise 5 percent. Many fishermen who received loans from commercial banks to buy steel ships built under the decree have complained about the poor quality of these ships, saying they continued to face malfunctions and were forced to make repairs.

In central Binh Dinh province, 18 steel fishing ships were found to be of substandard quality, of which 13 were built by Nam Trieu One Member Ltd Company and five were built by Dai Nguyen Duong Shipbuilding Company.

According to examination by the province’s agriculture department, the ships suffered from frequent breakdowns and degradation.

In particular, main engines on nine ships built by the Nam Trieu company were broken, while the power supply machines on three other ships were working intermittently. Ship-owners reported that under contracts signed with the companies, materials to build the ships were to be made in Japan or the Republic of Korea, but in reality they were made in China.

To re-examine the steel fishing boats after problems were detected, the provincial People’s Committee early this month established a specialised team.

At a meeting with the provincial leaders, relevant agencies, shipbuilders and ship-owners, the team asked the two shipbuilders to replace substandard vessel shells with shells regulated under the contracts on design, material, origin, instruction for use and maintenance.

The Nam Trieu company was asked to replace 10 major engines in a vessel built for a ship-owner named Tran Dinh Son as the current engines were unsuitable.

Vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Dinh Chau said all the substandard steel fishing boats must be fixed by the end of next month.

The two ship builders were responsible for repairing, covering the repair cost and compensating ship owners since the vessels were undergoing repairs and could therefore not be used for fishing, Chau said.

The provincial People’s Committee would recommend central agencies and banks to allow owners of substandard fishing vessels to delay returning loans and interest, Chau said.

Colonel Tran Huy Giap, vice director of the province’s police department, said the police would continue investigating economic violations related to the shipbuilders as they violated economic shipbuilding contracts, resulting in poor quality fishing vessels.

Tran Van Huong, vice chairman of Phu Cat district People’s Committee said the new vessels experienced problems after being used for just a year, which caused losses for ship-owners and left many fishermen without a job, thus affecting their livelihood. He asked for compensation from the shipbuilders.

According to figures from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, by the end of last year, there were 771 new steel fishing ships being built under the decree, most of which are in good condition.-VNA