Premier shipyard back in reckoning

Published Sep 16, 2014, 10:07 am IST
Updated Mar 31, 2019, 4:25 am IST
Cochin Shipyard to get dry dock and build ship to transport LNG fuel
CSL established in 1972, has been posting impressive performance in the last few years clocking an average 10 percent growth in turnover and profit. (Photo: DC/File)
 CSL established in 1972, has been posting impressive performance in the last few years clocking an average 10 percent growth in turnover and profit. (Photo: DC/File)
Kochi: Kerala’s craving for some big ticket investments in the manufacturing sector in the state had received a big boost on Monday with the union ministry of surface transport making an announcement of Rs 2,700 crore fresh investment in Cochin Shipyard Ltd. The union minister Nitin Gadkari had made the announcement in Delhi.
The ministry had cleared the Rs 1,200 cr proposal for building a new dry dockyard for as well as allocating Rs 1,500 cr for the construction of cargo ship for transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG). The announcement will be a big booster for the CSL amongst the mini-navaratna companies identified by the union government for divestment. Announcing the decision minister Gadkari said that these two proposals were given clearance as per the ‘Make In India’ project announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Independence Day.
CSL established in 1972, has been posting impressive performance in the last few years clocking an average 10 percent growth in turnover and profit. Although the company was able to keep the growth momentum, the lack of fresh orders was a matter of worry for the top management.
Commodore Kartik Subramaniam chairman and managing director of CSL openly acknowledged the difficulties facing the sector in the annual report of the company for the financial year 2013-14. Giving an overhaul view of the global ship building sector, Commodore Subramaniam said “shipbuilding industry continues to go through a difficult phase with little hope of recovery till 2014-15. The lack of new building orders, which has affected the top shipbuilding nations, has affected all Indian shipbuilders. Cochin Shipyard has also not won any new commercial orders during the year”.
The position of the CSL was much better compared with its peers due to the robust order book position of the company. Besides the prestigious aircraft career project, CSL was also having orders for the building of nearly 25 vessels of various capacities as on March 312, 2103.
Describing the announcement by the minister as a “very positive development” Commodore Subramaniam said that the decision by the ministry will help “our growth further as the new dry dock facility will enable the CSL to build the next generation vessels”. The work for the dry dock could be completed in two to three years after commencement of the project.
On the order for the LNG carrier, Commodore Subramaniam said that GAIL (India) Ltd had already floated the tenders for the vessel. “We have already participated in the global tenders floated by GAIL. I hope the process will be completed in the next four or five months”, he said.
On the schedule for the completion of the ongoing work of the indigenous aircraft career for the Indian Navy, Commodore Subramanaim said that the schedule for the completion is decided in consultation with the Navy.        
CSL has been identified as one of the major ship building facilities in the country by the Maritime Agenda 2010-2020 of the Ministry of Shipping. According to the Agenda the Dry Dock project “envisages creating a new high definition dock in the northern part of the CSL estate”. The dock capable of taking vessels up to 200,000 DWT would be capable of handling ship repair, upgradation and conversion. “The dock is conceived to help CSL to diversify into niche high tech products, which would help the company to sustain its growth momentum”, it was stated. 
Key points made by Nitin Gadkari
Cochin Shipyard Ltd, a PSU under the ministry of shipping will be investing Rs 1,200 cr in the construction of a dry dock where LNG carrier ships will be made.
In addition, the other shipyards in India will be making two more LNG ships. These will be the first of its kind to be made in India. Each of these LNG carrier ships will cost approximately Rs 1,500 cr.
CSL will also be undertaking building of dredgers for Paradip Port and Dredging Corporation of India in collaboration with foreign technology suppliers. The cost of the first dredger is expected to be around Rs 500 cr.
It has also been decided that CSL will be building cargo and passenger vessels as well as dredgers for the inland water transport sector.
Location: Kerala