Visakhapatnam: An agreement signed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on shipbuilding is expected to usher in Russian investments to Vizag.
Under the agreement, signed on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Goa, Russian shipbuilding major United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) may explore the option of a joint venture with HSL on manufacturing their orders.
Vizag was chosen by USC for its good sea, road and air connectivity. USC will make Vizag its manufacturing hub and also export products to other countries. USC is a Russian government-owned entity.
USC president Alexey L Rakhmanov, during his visit to Vizag in September, had said that Russian shipbuilding firms are inclined to set up joint ventures with Indian firms as part of indigenising defence equipment.
He had said that USC’s proposed manufacturing hub in India could be the company's global manufacturing unit from where their products can be exported to foreign clients.
“It’s good that USC has chosen Vizag as their manufacturing hub. They are exploring the option of a joint venture with Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. Details are to be worked out in this regard. Most likely they will work with HSL,” said a senior government official.
USC is the largest shipbuilding company in Russia employing over 80,000 people. It includes about 40 domestic shipyards, design offices and ship repair yards. USC’s enterprises operate in all major port and transportation hubs of Russia — from Kaliningrad in the west to Vladivostok in the east and from Severodvinsk in the north to Astrakhan in the south. USC’s design offices are responsible for almost all warships that are built and developed for the Russian Navy and foreign customers.
“There was a lot of competition from seven to eight states for investments by United Shipbuilding Corporation. But the Russian shipbuilding giant was impressed with the facilities and ecosystem available in AP and Vizag,” the CEO of the state’s Economic Development Board, J Krishna Kishore had said on an earlier occasion.