CSL eyes Kandla to set up shipbuilding facility

CSL eyes Kandla to set up shipbuilding facility

Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) is keenly awaiting the outcome of a techno-economic feasibility study to gauge if it is viable to set up a shipbuilding and repair facility at Tuna at Kandla Port in Gujarat.

The idea, the seeds of which were sown by Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari during one of his visits to the yard, is being perused ‘seriously’ by the yard, according to sources.

The consultant engaged to carry out the study is expected to furnish its report by the end of the year and follow-up action, in the event of a positive report, will be undertaken immediately thereafter.

The CSL had earlier examined the feasibility of setting up off-campus facilities in the Andamans and on Chennai Port premises, but both had to be shelved for various reasons. “As regards Kandla, there’s availability of 310 acres of land at Tuna’s inter-tidal region which is quite a chunk. But there are technical challenges, which are being examined by the consultant. The yard is pretty serious about it and is open to doing shipbuilding, repair and even breaking, as Alang is not very far — all this subject to viability,” said the sources.

Infrastructure expansion of the yard is more or less saturated, as land is at a premium and hard to find in Kerala. However, it’s refurbishing an existing facility of the Cochin Port to set up an international ship-repair facility there.

The yard, which has forged a technology partnership with the Korean firm, Samsung Heavy Industries, in building liquefied natural gas (LNG) carrying ships, believes it stands a good chance to bag the order to build the carriers in India. A tender in this regard floated by GAIL (India) Ltd last month insists building of three of the nine carriers it intends to procure within the country.

With L&T, which has entered into a pact with Hyundai to build LNG carriers, reportedly turning its back on the tender, the competition most likely will be between CSL and Pipavav, which has a partnership with Daewoo.

The tender will close on December 14.


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