Cochin Shipyard Ltd, India’s largest state-owned shipbuilder, is pushing forward with the plan of expanding into other forms of shipbuilding, which will see the shipyard’s shift to repair and maintenance activities but also a plunge into offshore industry as well.
As reported by the Live Mint news site, this move will entail selling of the company’s shares to back the Rs. 1,500 crore worth development project, which are expected to be put on the market in the first half of 2013.
The expansion will include construction of a new dock for repair of oil drilling rigs, building of a new shipyard in the Vizhinjam-Poovar area near Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala, establishment of a ship-repair facility intended for small and medium-sized vessels, along with an entry into the offshore fabrication sector.
Prompted by the fall in demand for commercial new-build vessels present since 2008, the shipyard had to view what other options are there for sustainability and growth of its business, chairman and managing director K. Subramaniam pointed out.
A range of opportunities is seen in oil exploration area, which is becoming ever more prominent in India. Having in mind that majority of the rigs operating in India are sent off to neighboring countries for maintenance and overhauls, Cochin Shipyard is planning to grasp these opportunities and turn them into its own favor.
According to Mr. Subramaniam, the shipyard has recently been qualified by ONGC Ltd for fabrication of offshore structures and platforms.
“The fabrication strengths of the shipyard will help the company to establish itself in this segment. ONGC has planned huge investments in the offshore business over the next five years. If we are able to take even a minor chunk of this, it would be a major thrust for the yard,” he said.
Shipbuilding Tribune Staff, August 3, 2012; Image: cochinshipyard