PM to inaugurate infrastructure boost at Cochin Shipyard today - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Tuesday 16 January 2024

PM to inaugurate infrastructure boost at Cochin Shipyard today

New dry dock (above) and  International Ship Repair Facility for Cochin Shipyard Ltd


By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 17th Jan 24


Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi will visit Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) on Wednesday to inaugurate CSL’s new 310-metre dry dock and an International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF), built at a combined cost of Rs 2,769 crore.


These are the largest-ever infrastructure investments in the 50-year history of the Kochi-based state public sector undertaking (PSU).


“Aligned strongly with the Sagarmala and Maritime India Vision 2030 initiatives, this is a day that will be marked in golden letters when CSL confidently marches into Amrit Kaal”, stated a company release.


CSL can currently build ships up to 1,10,000 dead weight tonnes (DWT) and repair ships up to 1,25,000 DWT. It has built India’s largest double hull Aframax tankers and numerous other ships for Indian and international clients. It has built the Indian Navy’s first indigenous aircraft carrier (IAC-1), INS Vikrant, which was commissioned in Sept 2022. The Vikrant has an indigenous content of 76 per cent.


Kochi’s skyline will undergo a change over the next few weeks, when the new 600-tonne Goliath gantry crane will be lifted up and installed over the dock, giving CSL the capacity to work with blocks weighing up to 600 tonnes. The new crane will be much larger than the two existing orange gantry cranes.


The dry dock, which is estimated to have cost Rs 1,799 crore, will be a high-grade strategic asset with the capability to handle critical naval assets and commercial ships in the event of an emergency. Its design life is 100 years and it will enable India to construct large aircraft carriers of up to 70,000 tonnes displacement.


The ISRF, which is located at Cochin Port Trust, Kochi, will increase India’s ship repair capability by about 25 per cent. Constructed at a cost of Rs 970 crore, this consists of a ship lift and transfer system of 6,000 tonnes capacity that can handle vessels 130 metres long and 26 metres wide. It has six workstations that allow independent repair of six vessels simultaneously, enabling the facility to handle repairs of about 84 ships every year. 


The ISRF will also provide rapid turnaround for naval warships and Coast Guard ships and offshore vessels. It will be able to handle emergency docking as well as planned refits. 


The ISRF is aligned with the plan to create ship repair clusters. This “Kochi cluster” will trigger significant ship repair and ancillary services, on the lines of the clusters at Dubai and Singapore.


CSL is a Category I Miniratna under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW). After its Initial Public Offer (IPO) in 2017, the Government holds 72.86 per cent of the company’s equity share capital.


During the financial year 2022-23 (FY22-23), CSL recorded a turnover of Rs 2,330 crore and a Net Profit of Rs 334 crore. CSL’s net worth as on March 31, 2023 stands at Rs 4,423 crores. CSL has consistently paid dividends for the last several years, including a dividend of 170 per cent per equity share in FY22-23.

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