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Pipavav to foray into warship production

Pipavav Shipyard is located within the vicinity of Pipavav Port, Gujarat. A File Photo.

NEW DELHI (PTI): Private shipbuilder Pipavav is planning to foray into warship production and has bid for building seven vessels for the navy.

"We have submitted bids for the construction of five naval offshore patrol vessels and two cadet training ships to the Indian navy," Nikhil Gandhi, Pipavav Shipyard chairman, told PTI.

"Both the Navy and Coast Guard have shown interest in utilising our facilities and infrastructure to meet their needs," Gandhi said, but refused to elaborate on the ground that the company is in an IPO mode.

With a 662 metres-by-65 metres dockyard, Pipavav Shipyard is said to have the capability to build large ships and carry out repairs for a range of vessels up to 4,00,000 Dead Weight Tonne, including Navy and Coast Guard vessels.

It also holds facilities for fabrication and construction of offshore platforms, rigs, jackets and vessels, excluding sub-sea pipelines, for oil and gas companies.

The shipyard began commercial operations in April this year and is coming out with an IPO this month.

On the reasons for getting into 'single-customer' defence production industry, Gandhi said his shipyard, with the capacity to build large ships, found the time opportune to venture into this capital intensive sector, as the needs of the Navy were increasing and the public sector shipyards are unable to meet the requirements.

Indian Navy is likely to spend Rs 10 billion annually on an average for the next twelve years to build its capabilities, with about 70 per cent of the amount devoted to acquisitions of sophisticated naval hardware.

Among the planned naval acquisitions are 40 warships of different sizes and capabilities.

With the order books of the three defence public sector shipyards -- Mazagon Docks, Goa Shipyard, and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers, full for the next 10 years, the navy has been looking at involving private shipyards to meet its increasing needs.

Meanwhile, the Defence Ministry's plan to take over private sector builder Hindustan Shipyard in Vishakapatnam is in its final stages.

The idea behind the take over, a Defence Ministry source said, was to have one more dedicated naval shipbuilder in the country.

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