SHAH ALAM: LCS team meets OPV. RMN’s Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project team visited the THHE yard at Pulau Indah, Port Klang to see the progress of the construction of Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) project.
The visit according to a MMEA Facebook post on January 30 was led by RMN’s LCS project team director First Admiral Saiful Bahari Baharuddin. The post stated the visit was meant to share experiences, challenges and current development of both ships, being built locally.
The LCS, as you are aware are being built by Boustead Naval Shipyard in Lumut, with the first ship, Maharaja Lela expected to be in service in 2023. For more on the LCS and its delays go here.
The MMEA post also stated that the agency’s new vessels being built at the THHE yard involved three OPVs equipped with various facilities and new technologies worth RM733 million and the first one is expected be completed this year.
The visit came shortly after a report in a Malaysian business newspaper, Focus Malaysia, that the OPV project will be delayed “due to financing issues”. Responding to the claims, Destini Bhd, which is the JV partner for THHE for the OPV stated that “THHE Destini Sdn Bhd is working closely with the government to deliver the OPVs as required by the contract. ”
Actually the first ship is already delayed as when the ship was launched the-then MMEA DG stated that the first OPV would be in service by this month. This has not happened of course.
I was told recently that the first ship is only expected to be launched either this April or May. The delay was due to extra time needed to preparec the slipway to launch the first of class OPV, Kota Bharu. The ship is only expected to be commissioned into the MMEA by late this year or early next year.
The ship is expected to be fully painted in MMEA colours later this month. The delays into the project was reported previously here.
Despite the setback, it appears that OPV project will be concluded by 2021, barring further hitches, as work on OPV 2 and 3 are continuing. I was told that the engines on the OPV 2 had been installed recently and the ship is expected to be joint together later this year.
As for the LCS, I have not much further to report apart that BNS is still waiting the word from the government on the extra allocation needed to complete the project. I was told that the government in principle had approved the extra RM1.4 billion allocation for the project but it had not been disbursed yet.
When is the billion ringgit question.
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