Kochi set to become a maritime hub

Prime Minister to inaugurate 310-metre dry dock and international ship-repair facility of Cochin Shipyard Limited on Wednesday

January 16, 2024 07:28 pm | Updated January 17, 2024 11:21 am IST - KOCHI

The new drydock at the Cochin Shipyard built at a cost of ₹1,799 crore is 310 metres long, 75/60 metres wide, and 13 metres deep with the capability to have aircraft carrier displacing 70,000 tonnes built here. The drydock will be equipped with a Goliath 600 MT gantry crane which will redefine the Kochi skyline.

The new drydock at the Cochin Shipyard built at a cost of ₹1,799 crore is 310 metres long, 75/60 metres wide, and 13 metres deep with the capability to have aircraft carrier displacing 70,000 tonnes built here. The drydock will be equipped with a Goliath 600 MT gantry crane which will redefine the Kochi skyline. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Kochi is set to become a major hub of shipbuilding and repair with the inauguration of a 310-metre dry dock and an international ship-repair facility (ISRF) of Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday. He will also open an LPG import terminal of the Indian Oil Corporation at Puthuvype. Both the projects together cost around ₹4,000 crore.

“The CSL facility will in turn become the largest ship repair and dry dock facility in South Asia. This will help develop a huge ecosystem, enabling skill development and employment, including in the MSME sector. These will together open up 30,000 job opportunities. In addition, CSL is helping the green-energy transition by constructing electric-hybrid vessels,” Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal told the media here on Tuesday.

Mr. Sonowal said 227 of the total 805 initiatives under the Sagaramala project had been completed for ₹1.47 lakh crore. The mechanisation and digitalisation of ports have boosted their efficiency and also that of coastal shipping and inland water transport (IWT). The port sector has doubled its capacity through the modernisation drive. Kerala has contributed a lot in the journey, with CSL playing a major part. The shipyard was poised to double its turnover to ₹7,000 crore by 2028, he said.

River cruise

He added that a ₹60,000-crore ecosystem had been planned to promote river cruises. The target is to woo 15 lakh passengers from the present two lakh. In a few years, one would not need to visit the US and Europe for river cruises. A total of 1,000 green energy vessels would operate along the rivers in another 10 years.

Also present at the press conference were Rajesh Kumar Sinha, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, and Madhu S. Nair, Chairman and Managing Director, CSL.

New drydock

The ISRF and new dry dock project of CSL will give a fillip to India’s ship repair and shipbuilding capabilities and will strengthen the country’s position of eminence in the global maritime space, while the establishment of the LPG import terminal will significantly enhance the country’s energy infrastructure by ensuring a steady supply of LPG, benefiting millions of households and businesses in and around the region. This project will further strengthen India’s efforts towards ensuring accessible and affordable energy for all, said officials connected with the projects.

The International Ship Repair Facility is a pureplay ship repair ecosystem which will increase India’s ship repair capacity by around 25% in terms of the number of ships repaired. It is capable of handling ships of up to 130 metres in length, while the shiplift and transfer system can take on vessels of up to 6,000 tonnes.

The International Ship Repair Facility is a pureplay ship repair ecosystem which will increase India’s ship repair capacity by around 25% in terms of the number of ships repaired. It is capable of handling ships of up to 130 metres in length, while the shiplift and transfer system can take on vessels of up to 6,000 tonnes. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The dry dock was built at a cost of ₹1,799 crore on the CSL premises and is one of the largest marine infrastructure amenity in the region. It features heavy ground loading which will position India with advanced capabilities to handle strategic assets such as aircraft carriers of up to 70,000 tonne displacement as also large commercial vessels, eliminating dependency on foreign nations.

The ISRF project that costs ₹970 crore has been set up in a parcel of 42 acres belonging to the Cochin Port Authority on Willingdon Island just a couple of kilometres away from the shipyard. It is a unique facility having a shiplift system with a capacity of 6,000 tonnes, transfer system, six work stations and a berth of approximately 1,400 metres which can accommodate seven vessels of 130 metre length simultaneously. It will help modernise and expand the ship repair capabilities of CSL and catalyse the transformation of Kochi into a global ship repair hub.

A bird’s eye view of the Cochin Shipyard

A bird’s eye view of the Cochin Shipyard | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Indian Oil’s LPG import terminal at Puthuvype, which costs ₹1,236 crore, boasts a state-of-the-art infrastructure connected with multi-user liquid terminal jetty through a 3.5-km cross-country pipeline. The 15,400 MT storage capacity terminal will cater to the LPG requirements of south India, besides ensuring LPG distribution through road and pipeline transfers, benefiting bottling plants in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The project anticipated an annual logistic savings of ₹150 crore and a reduction of CO2 emissions by 18,000 tonnes per annum, the sources said.

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