Cochin Shipyard (CSL) has begun the construction of a new ship repair facility at Cochin Port Trust in Kerala, India, with an investment of Rs9.7bn ($149m).

The new site will be known as the International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) and is set to be built on a 40-acre plot of land at the Cochin Port Trust, which has been leased by CSL for the project.

ISRF will feature a 130m by 25m ship lift system with a total lift capacity of 6,000t, as well as six work stations.

"The new site will be known as the International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) and is set to be built on a 40-acre plot of land at the Cochin Port Trust."

The facility will also be designed to repair up to 85 vessels and expects to double its ship repairing capacity every year.

It will primarily be used to serve a major portion of the small and medium sized vessels currently in operation in India.

ISRF is also expected to boost India’s commercial ship repair market, which is estimated to generate about 6,000 direct and indirect jobs in the country.

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Furthermore, it will help expand a number of ancillary industries in the state of Kerala.

In addition, the Government of India’s Ministry of Shipping has announced it has begun the development of the Center of Excellence in Maritime and Shipbuilding (CEMS), which is slated to be a skill development facility for the maritime and shipbuilding sector.

CEMS is set to be developed by India’s Ministry of Shipping in partnership with Siemens under the government’s wider Sagarmala programme.

It will feature campuses located at Vishakhapatnam and Mumbai in India.

CEMS is expected to support domestic skill requirements in ship design, manufacturing and operation, as well as maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) once completed.

It also intends to enrol students from neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia to facilitate the development of skills in the port and maritime sector.