Modest Infrastructure on expansion mode
As shipbuilding activity begins to grow rapidly, Modest Infrastructure positions itself for making the best of the upturn
Cashing on the emerging boom in ship building, Modest Infrastructure is set on expanding its facilities in Gujarat near Bhavnagar. Having acquired land with 1,200 meter seafront about 23 km from its present yard in Ratanpar, Modest Infrastructure is set to begin construction of the yard in about three to six months time. This will be simultaneously followed by the laying of the keel for the ship construction of their first ship at this new site as was the case when it set up the present ship building yard in 2006.
“Our expansion project envisages the construction of vessels of up to 45,000 DWT,” said a representative of Modest Infrastructure Limited (MIL). “Being a wet basin shipyard it will facilitate the docking of vessels for carrying out repairs, an activity that is almost totally lacking in the West Coast of India. On shore we will have ten berths making it possible for us to build 10 ships simultaneously, four of which will be of 45,000 DWT and six vessels of upto 120 mtrs in length. It will be possible to be built all 10 ships at the same time. The approach road to this new site is ready. The ground at the construction site has been raised by 1 meter above sea level as the compaction of the soil has been done. It has been possible to keep the project cost low since we already have the acquired the land in our possession.”
The company’s order book is robust and further orders are in the pipeline. This year the company expects to deliver 7 vessels of which three are for the Indian Navy. Presently they have delivered a self loading cement carrier of 2800 DWT capacity and another of 4,000 DWT is in the process of being delivered before mid 2011.
Most of the orders received by the company have been tankers though they are geared to build any type. The company is on the verge of making some more deliveries this year. For the Indian Navy three vessels of 500 tons each will also be delivered in the current year. There is also an order on hand for a DP2 Geotech Survey Vessel as well as 4 others for foreign ship owners. The situation could have been brighter on the ship building front had there been support from the government.
Indian shipbuilders point out that the world over no ship building industry can survive on its own. The government has to step in and offer support in the form of subsidy. In India ship builders are looking at a 30 per cent subsidy which was made available to the industry from 2004 to 2008. The Maritime Agenda released recently includes enhancing the share of global shipbuilding from the current one percent to five percent for which it expects the government to provide subsidy of 30 per cent.
“We are looking upon the government to announce subsidizing the ship building activity which will help place the industry on a level playing field and help the industry to face the aggressive competition from the Chinese and Korean ship builders,” stated a spokesman of the Indian Shipbuilders Association.
MIL’s first shipyard was started in 2006 at Ramsar where they have two dry docks and one slipway with capacity to build 8 vessels of upto 6,000 DWT at a time. Vessels of up to 120 meters in lengths, 20 Meters breadth and 4.5 meter launching draft can be made here. For repairs and construction the company has 2 dry docks, one measuring 93 meters in length 16 meters in width and docking draft of 3.5 meters, and the other dock of 123 mtrs in length, 23 mtrs breadth and depth of 4.5 mtrs.