India’s shipping ministry has approved a Rs12bn ($196.5m) investment in state-owned Cochin Shipyard (CSL) in order to set-up a dry dock facility for building LNG carrier ships.
This development comes as part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make in India plan. Approval to construct two more LNG carriers has also been granted to other shipyards in the country, The Hindu Business Line reported.
Union minister Nithin Gadkari was quoted by The Economic Times as saying: "The vessels for transporting LNG will be built at a cost of Rs1.5bn ($245.7m) each.
"Cochin Shipyard will partner with a French company to build the ship."
In addition, CSL will also construct dredgers at a cost of around Rs5bn ($81.9m) for Paradip Port in Odisha and the Dredging Corporation of India, in collaboration with foreign technology suppliers. CSL will also build cargo and passenger vessels.
CSL chairman and managing director K Subramanian told the news agency that the company is looking at equity markets, debt funds and internal accruals to raise funds for the investment and also hopes that the government would also facilitate with low-cost funds for the purpose.
The new dry dock to be constructed in Cochin Shipyard will have an overall length of 300m.
Meanwhile, the hull facility of CSL will be free only in the year-end since the hull fabrication work on aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is nearing its completion.
On-going construction works of other patrol and supply vessels as well as the buoy tender vessel for the Directorate of Light Houses and Light Ships will be completed before the first quarter of 2015.
Image: A view of one of the docks at the Cochin shipyard. Photo: courtesy of suniltg.