Hindustan Shipyard Limited, which kick-started the retrofitting of Russia-made INS Sindhuvir, one of the sophisticated EKM-class submarines of Indian Navy, will complete the ₹500 crore project in 27 months.
The country’s premier shipbuilding yard set up by Scindia Steam Navigation Ltd in 1941 in recognition of the strategic importance of the city was credited with successfully completing the retrofitting of INS Sindhukirti immediately after Cyclone Hudhud caused devastation in and around Visakhapatnam in 2014. HSL has submarine repair facility developed at a cost of ₹50 crore. It has expertise in submarine repairs with plans to construct next generation submarines in future.
The Ministry of Defence has accorded clearance to have tie-up with Hyundai Heavy Industries, the South Korean shipbuilding giant, for collaboration with HSL. A HSL official told The Hindu that after the arrival of INS Sindhuvir, a Sindhughosh-class diesel electric submarine, repair work had commenced.
HSL has also responded positively to the proposal mooted by the A.P. Economic Development Board for mutual cooperation with the United Shipbuilding Corporation of Russia. The Russian shipyard has evinced interest to place orders worth ₹20,000 crore to meet its own requirement. “The proposal will be placed before the Ministry of Defence for clearance,” A.P. Economic Development Board CEO J. Krishna Kishore told The Hindu .
Fleet support ships
HSL, which has been given a contract on nomination basis by the Ministry of Defence for construction of five fleet support ships, is planning to seek collaboration with Hyundai for executing contract for which modalities are being worked out. HSL, which was brought under Ministry of Defence on February 22, 2010 had earlier tried for bagging orders under the Project 75 (1) for construction of next generation submarines for Navy at a cost of $9.7 billion. However, there is not much progress on awarding the order to HSL and other shipyards who had submitted their offers.
After making a turnaround last year, HSL clocked turnover of ₹625 crore during 2016-17 with an operating profit of ₹15 crore after a gap of 35 years. HSL Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral L.V. Sarat Babu said they were confident of a bright future for the yard due to series of measures initiated to boost the morale of the workforce and improve the brand name of the yard.