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Cochin Shipyard to expand capacity with Rs 500 crore investment

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KOCHI (PTI): The Public sector Cochin Shipyard Ltd is proposing to expand its existing capacity through a ship lift system with an investment of Rs 500 crore, a top official said Friday.

The new system is likely to come up at the northern end of the CSL estate and would be 120 metre long and able to accommodate ships up to 6,000 tonnes, CSL Chairman and Managing Director, Commodore K Subramaniam, told reporters here.

The project is likely to be taken up by next year.

The shipyard has two dry-docks. One of the docks is being used for the construction of the Indigenous Aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy and the other is used for ship building and ship repair. Once the ship lift system gets completed it is likely to ease the congestion in the dry-dock.

At present, the yard has orders for 34 ships consisting 14 Offshore Platform vessels for domestic and international owners and 20 Fast Patrol vessels for the Coast Guard totally valued at Rs 4,000 crore.

On India's first Indigenous Aircraft carrier being built at the CSL for the Navy, he said it is to be 'floated out' in December last year. But due to various reasons, it could not take place and will be floated out this year end, he said.

CSL is hoping to get more orders from the Indian Navy very soon, he said.

Recession did have an impact on the shipyard as it did not receive any orders from 2008 to September 2010. After Sept 2010, the yard received orders for 24 ships of the 34 ships.

The effect of recession will be felt this year and the next year. "We had a very good growth in the last 5 years.

That will not be there this year and the next year. But our performance would not be affected." he said.

The shipyard's shipbuilding income increased to Rs 1,012 crore in 2009-10 from Rs 222 crore in 2005-06.

CSL has been diversifying into new areas of construction and repairs over the last few years and had successfully completed two major ship conversion projects, one for a Singapore based owner and the other for National Institute for Oceanography, Goa. The former was a conversion of a fishing vessel to research vessel and the latter was a conversion of fishing vessel to a seismic survey one.

The CMD said the shipyard was also exploring the eastern and western coasts to set up ship repair facilities.

On the eastern coast they were looking at Tamil Nadu, he said.

The shipyard has also acquired 220 acres to set up ship building facility at the proposed Vizhinam Port at Thiruvananthapuram, he said.


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