Sri Lanka is planning to boost Ceylon Shipping’s (CSCL) business by adding two new cargo vessels to its fleet.

The initiative was taken up by Sri Lankan President and Minister of Highways, Ports and Shipping, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The proposal was recommended by the cabinet appointed negotiating committee (CANC) and approved by the Sri Lankan cabinet.

A spokesperson for the Sri Lankan cabinet and media minister Keheliya Rambukwella said the 64,000t bulk carriers will be purchased from China at a cost of $70m.

“We will use these two ships to revive the shipping corporation as well as increase the training of our seamen, who are in great demand overseas,” he said.

At the request of the Sri Lankan cabinet, the government instructed the department of external resources to arrange loans for the purchase of the ships.

The two Chinese vessels are expected to be delivered within two years.

CSCL operates the import and export trade and in October 2013 appointed Sri Lanka navy commander vice-admiral Jayanath Colombage as the new chairman of the business.