Cochin Shipyard (CSL) is planning to sign a contract with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas for the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels in India.
The move comes after completion of the company’s first phase of construction of indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC).
CSL chairman and managing director Commodore Subramanian was quoted by The Times of India as saying that they have already held talks with officials of the ministry and the gas authority of India (GAIL) on this.
"We are quite excited about the proposal to make LNG vessels in India. We are going to pursue it seriously," Subramanian said.
With minimal orders, the LNG ship building project will enhance the company’s ship building experience.
CSL is currently working on the second phase of the construction of 20 fast patrol vessels and the IAC.
Secretary of the ministry Vivek Rae told the news website that the ministry was considering amending the tender conditions so that Indian shipyards can build gas carrying vessels in partnerships with global shipyards.
GAIL has already signed deals with enterprises in the US for importing 6.3 million metric British thermal unit (MMBTU) of shale gas to India. An official said they require around six to seven vessels to bring gas to India.
Petronet finance director RK Garg told the website that it would be uneconomical to rely on leasing ships when gas is imported from faraway places such as the US.
"Petronet LNG often invests in shipping companies which are engaged in the transport of the fuel," Garg said.