Cochin shipyard to set up new facility in Gujarat

Kolkata, Oct 15 (IANS) The Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) which is building India’s maiden indigenous aircraft carrier, is looking at setting up an integrated ship-building facility at Tuna under Kandla port in Gujarat, a top official said here on Thursday.

CSL chairman and managing director K Subramaniam also exuded confidence of clinching the state-run natural gas firm GAIL (India) Ltd.’s tender for building liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers.

“Tuna in the Kandla port has got lots of land, about 300 acres. We see a lot of potential there to develop a facility both for ship-building and ship-repairing. A techno-economic feasibility study is being conducted for the proposed facility,” Subramaniam told IANS on the sidelines of an event here.

“The report of the study is expected soon. We are very hopeful of a positive outcome.”

“As of now, the Indian ship-building industry has no ancillary industry, so we are looking to develop the facility in Tuna and help creating such an ancillary industry,” said Subramaniam, during the commissioning of a Indian Coast Guard ship Anmol at the Kidderpore dock here.

The CSL, which has entered into a MoU with South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. which builds LNG carriers, said it was confident of bagging GAIL’s tender.

“We are looking ahead for the GAIL tender which will take Indian ship-building to the next level. We have already entered into a pact with Samsung and we are hopeful of bagging the tender,” said Subramaniam.

The tender is for nine LNG carriers, with the caveat that three of them be built in India.

He also said the work on the indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant was on full swing and will be ready for its scheduled commissioning in late 2018.

“The aircraft carrier is on schedule. We have finished all the underwater work, the hull is almost 99 percent complete. Now we are just waiting for the aviation and other facilities to come. It’s a huge project. I am confident that we will do our best to ensure it is ready as per schedule,” said Subramaniam.

On the issue of exporting warships, Subramaniam said the CSL has a reputation in the international market but the negotiations for that need to be initiated at the government level.

“We have exported close to 40 ships in the last 5-6 years, and have a very good reputation in the international market. But as regards building and exporting warships, we are ready to do that but any kind negotiations on that front are yet to begin. We will be competitive in terms of quality or timeline but the talks on the warship front, need to happen between governments,” he added.

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