At a glance

BN Dockyard is the major repair establishment to provide repair and maintenance support to ships of Bangladesh Navy. It is situated on the bank of river Karnuphully. It has the capability to undertake all types of repair, refurbish and maintenance work related to BN ships and establishment with its own expertise and manpower.

History of Ship Building

Interestingly but unknown to many Bangladeshis, there was a glorious history of wooden shipbuilding in Chittagong (also known as ‘Shetgang’ in the early 4th Century BC, ‘Samunda’ in the 9th Century, and later during the 15th Century as ‘Porte Grande’) during the late 15th to the 17th centuries. This happened mainly due to the traditional boat building knowledge and the abundance of very fine quality hardwood like loha kath (Xylia Dolabiformis), segun (Tectona Grandis) and jarul kath (Lagerstromia Speciosa) suitable for shipbuilding in the nearby forested hills. Though the industry also developed near some large river ports of Bengal, Chittagong remained the most important location for building ocean-going vessels (most large seagoing vessels of that period were around 300-500 tonne by today’s measurements, a very few being around 800 tonne). Ships built at Chittagong were sturdier, more resistant to marine growth and fouling, and of better quality and longer life than those built anywhere including in Alexandria and places around the UK (where most of the then modern world’s ships used to be made). Even the mighty Ottoman Navy bought ships built at Chittagong because they were the best and also easily available. The Mughal naval fleet included a large number of ships built at Chittagong. The shipyards of Chittagong graduated to building up to 1,000 tonnes by the first part of the 19th Century. The mighty British Royal Navy also used ships built at Chittagong some such units participated in the great naval battle that took place at Trafalgar in 1805. In 1818 a ship ‘Fregatten Deutschland’ was built in Chittagong for the German Imperial Navy. The list of ships owned by the Calcutta port in 1924 included 11 English owned ships of which 08 were built at Chittagong.

The craftsmen engaged in shipbuilding at Chittagong were mostly illiterate. They acquired the art of shipbuilding as an inherited skill passed from master builders to apprentices, often from fathers to sons. In Chittagong, the low caste Hindus of Balami Para and some Muslims of Agrabad areas were engaged in shipbuilding. Chittagonian shipbuilding started waning towards last part of the 19th Century due to a complete lack of administrative patronisation from the British Raj (the British shipbuilders ultimately went for organised strikes when faced with stiff competition with the Chittagonian shipbuilding industry as the teak wood ships built in Bengal were cheaper, more durable, and also safer than those built in England) and the final death nails for this industry and craftsmanship were the advent of steam in steel hulls.

Outline of Today's Dockyard

Over the last 30 years of its history, the Dockyard has grown from a base workshop facilities to one of the modest ship repair yards in our country. Spreading over 47 acres of land, it has wide range of engineering facilities to meet maintenance need of ships and craft. The Dockyard has strength of over 1700 employees. In its 24 workshops, the Dockyard undertakes about 100 jobs on any single day. In average, Dockyard takes nearly 30 ships per year for docking and refit. All together, about 1.3-million man-hour labor worth of about 33.8 billion BDT is generated annually to accomplish the task.

Role of BN Dockyard

The prime role of BN Dockyard is to keep BN fleet operational by rendering repair and maintenance support. The overall functions include:

  • Designing and executing various naval projects, modifications, and up gradation works,   installations of new equipment etc.
  • Major equipment and machinery repair including overhauling and testing.
  • Recruiting Dockyard Civilian Personnel and train them.
  • Development and repair of naval berthing facilities
  • Arranging water and electricity supply and accommodation facility to the ships and her crew.
  • Providing assistance to sister services, maritime agencies and other civil organisations.

Organisation

The Organisation is headed by Commodore Superintendent Dockyard (CSD). He works under the direct administrative and technical control of Naval Headquarters. He runs his Organisation through four General Managers under him. General Manager (planning and Estimating) carryout the planning of all the works including costing of manpower and material. General Manager (Production) manages all the repair and maintenance including new projects and modification works. General Manager (Personnel and Administration) looks after the administration and welfare of the civilian workers and General Manager (Yard Service) provides yard and berth facilities to the ships and maintains yard machinery of BN Dockyard including Utility service. The other two units under CSD are the shore establishment BN Dockyard and the floating dock BNFD SUNDARBAN are commanded by respective Commanding Officers. The Naval Armament Supply Officer, in short NASO, looks after the Naval Armament Supply Depot.

Infrastructure and Workshop Facilities:

BN Dockyard has 24 workshops, dealing with maintainace and repair of equipment and systems fitted on board ships and to a limited extent similar items ashore:

Mechanical Department Hull Department Electrical Department Ordnance Department
  • Diesel Engine Shop.
  • Machine Shop.
  • Fitting Shop.
  • Motor Transport Workshop.
  • Lagging Shop.
  • Foundry Shop.
  • Fridge Shop.
  • Submarine Workshop.
  • Platter and Welding Shop.
  • Carpentry and Boat Building Shop.
  • Sail and Color Loft.
  • Rigging Shop .
  • Life Raft Servicing Center(LRSC).
  • Paint Shop .
  • Ship Fitting Shop .
  • Boat Workshop .
  • Slipway.
  • Heavy Electrical Shop.
  • Weapon Control, Gyro and Sonar Control shop.
  • Calibration Centre .
  • Radio and Radar Shop .
  • Battery and Electroplating Shop.
  • Gun Shop.
  • Anti Submarine Weapons Shop.

Training in BN DOCKYARD:
  • Training in General
  • Officers Training 
  • Sailors Training
  • Courses for Foreign Nationals