CSL gets green signal for larger dry dock

The Cochin Shipyard Ltd.’s (CSL) bid to build a larger dry dock on its campus at Thevara, which will enable it to construct mammoth vessels such as LNG carrying vessels and bigger aircraft carriers, has got a fillip with the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change granting environment and CRZ clearance for the project.

The proposed dry dock, which will be 310-metre long and 75-metre wide, is estimated to cost Rs. 1,700 crore and the yard has set the ball rolling for issue of IPO to fund the construction. The PSU shipyard, where the country’s first indigenous aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is being built and the newly-acquired aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya underwent its first refit, has two dry docks, with lengths of 270 metre and 255 metre, at the moment. The construction of the new dock will be carried out over an area of 15 acres on the CSL campus, which spreads over 170 acres.

The new drydock, it is learnt, will have a draft of 13 metre with a two-metre freeboard (which corresponds to the dry dock’s depth to the loading dock minus the dry dock’s draft). The yard has made it clear that the new dock will enhance its capacity to build 300-metre long LNG carriers, aircraft carriers of similar length and big oil and gas rigs.

A public hearing as part of the environmental clearance requirements was conducted in July and the Kerala Coastal Zone Management Authority recommended the project to the MoEFC in August. The yard is now awaiting environmental clearance for the proposed International Ship Repair Facility on the Cochin Port premises.

As earlier reported by The Hindu, the Cochin Shipyard is hopeful of bagging a contract for the construction of the technology-intensive LNG vessels within India in collaboration with the Samsung Heavy Industries. But a tender, the second in a row, floated by GAIL(India) for hiring nine of these brand new carriers got scrapped mid-October after two consortiums that had submitted their bids had deviated from the tender stipulations. One of the conditions of the tender was that the hired entity should tie up with an Indian yard to build a third of these vessels within India. A fresh tender for the same is being awaited now.

With its track record of maintaining the outgoing carrier INS Viraat for nearly 27 years, overcoming the odds to refit the Vikramaditya and constructing the first made in India carrier INS Vikrant (which is in the final stages), the yard is knocking on the doors of the Ministry of Defence, nudging it to place a follow-on order for another aircraft carrier, if not of the Vikrant-class, a slightly bigger one. The new dry dock, the yard believes, would brighten its chances of landing the contract to build the Navy’s future carrier.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 1:04:40 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/cochin-shipyard-drydock/article16692548.ece

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