The emerging opportunities in ship building and ship repairs are seeing players make bold overtures, pumping in money certain to reap a rich harvest. Even early entrants, not wanting to be left out have got into an expansion mode and have firmed up plans to multiply their centers of operation.
What has set off this drift is not difficult to find. It is the existing boom in the offshore E&P sector; the growing demand for product tankers and the economic recovery which is already seeing a robust growth. The largest state owned Cochin Shipyard Ltd., is planning to enter into a joint venture to start dry dock facility at its ship building yard in Kerala in South India. Pipavav Shipyard in Gujarat on the West coast of India has announced plans to set up a dry dock which according to an official of the company will be world’s biggest repair and maintenance facility. Chowgule Group too has jumped on to the bandwagon and is setting up ship repair facility at Jaigarh on the West coast.
Now another prominent player - Modest Infrastructure Limited (MIL), which has a shipyard at Ramsar, has started setting up their second facility at Ratanpar about 23 km from the existing yard. Based near Bhavnagar, Gujarat the new yard will have capacity to build bigger vessels of up to 45,000 DWT size. However, no one in the company was willing to indicate the time frame set for commissioning the yard, but according to shipping circles it is expected to be completed sometime next year.
The company is understood to be planning to deploy the core equipment required for this new facility from their present shipyard thus helping to jump-start the project. It has been possible to keep the project cost low since they already have the required land with 1.2 km seafront in their possession and the ground at the construction site having already been raised by 1 meter above sea level as the compaction of the soil has been done. Informed sources say that since they have two dry docks at Ramsar yard they propose to convert this into an exclusive dry dock repairs yard.
The company is flush with orders and has already made deliveries of three vessels to a customer in Europe and another to a company whose ships are registered under the Mauritius flag. Presently the company has orders for three tankers, two cement carriers and five vessels for the Indian Navy.
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 6,000 DWT. Vessels of up to 100 meters in lengths, 20 Meters breadth and 3.5 meter launching draft can be made here. For repairs and construction the company has dry dock measuring 80 meters in length 15 meters in width and docking draft of 3 meters.