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    Indian yard sets it sights overseas

    Yard News // August 25, 2000
    Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) in Cochin, on the west coast of India, has commenced construction of a second double hull tanker for Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), and says ongoing productivity enhancements at the yard will place it within the frontrank of shipbuilders.CSL says it hopes the productivity enhancements it has achieved will enable it to compete for international newbuilding and repair/conversion orders.

    It also says that much of the work it is undertaking currently, whether newbuildings or repair work, is being completed ahead of schedule, thus highlighting the gains in productivity it is making.

    News of the productivity enhancements at CSL could have come at just the right time for another reason, too, because SCI has just been advised to upgrade its tanker fleet.

    The advice, from consultants Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC), included a recommendation that SCI embark on a five-year, Rs186Bn ($410M) investment programme, including the acquisition of 15 vessels and three part-owned LNG carriers. The SCI board has reportedly accepted the recommendation in principle, and a PwC team was expected to make a presentation to Indian government ministries on August 16.

    CSL Company Secretary Mr V Kala says the contract for the 94,000dwt tankers for SCI was signed in June of this year, on the basis of a global tender issued by SCI. The price for the vessel is $34.4 million, and the delivery date is 24 months from the start of construction.

    However, as Kala explained, production facilities at the yard have recently been augmented by the installation of a CNC plasma cutting machine, and upgrades to the yard's cranes, so CSL is hopeful that it will deliver the ship in just 21 months.

    Delivering the tanker ahead of schedule will help strengthen the yard's claims that it is capable of competing in the international shipbuilding industry.

    Technical co-operation with the Japan International Co-operative Agency has provided Cochin with access to Japanese shipbuilding expertise, thus further enhancing productivity, says Kala.

    As with its sistership, the Abul Kalam Azad, which was delivered last year, the tanker newbuilding is being classed by Bureau Veritas, and is being built to comply with the latest MARPOL and SOLAS regulations. At 237m overall, the tanker will have ten cargo tanks, enabling her to carry approximately 100,000m3 of crude and will have a service speed of 14.5kt.

    Recently, the yard has diversified into the construction of tugs and passenger vessels, and remains active in the offshore sector.

    CSL has completed delivery of a total of five tugs for Kandla Port and a single new tug for new Mangalore Port, and says that the majority of the newbuildings were delivered ahead of schedule. A 45-ton bollard pull tug fort Chennai Port Trust and a pairof small passenger vessels are under construction currently.

    On the ship repair front, SCI says it has now completed repairs on more than 800 vessels, and has undertaken a good quantity of repair work, including upgrades to drill ships and warships.

    Kala highlights the work the yard recently completed on the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) Sagar Vijay on behalf of Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), increasing the rig's drilling capacity from 300m to 900m. Work on the drilling vessel was completed he work five weeks ahead of schedule.

    The MODU was dry-docked at CSL on 13 May for a special survey. Major work on the vessel included repairs to shafts, propellers, rudder, the overhaul of two alternators, structural repairs and surface preparation and coating.

    In addition to the MODU, CSL says it has also completed numerous other jobs for ONGC, all of which were completed ahead of schedule.

    Repairs to the bulk carrier Andinet - which caught fire on its way from Bahrain to Yokohama about 500 miles off the coast of India - have also been completed. The work included renewal of more than 6km of electrical cabling, new circuit breakers, automation of the auxiliary engine controls, and various other works.

    Once again, the project was completed ahead of schedule, in just 24 days, no less than seven days ahead of the contracted delivery date.

    CSL says it is one of the few yards in India to consistently turn in a profit, and was adjudged one of the top ten public sector enterprises in India for the year 1998-1999. Incorporated in 1972, it is capable of building vessels of up to 100,000dwt, andrepairing vessels of up to 125,000dwt the yard now holds ISO 9001 certification for shipbuilding, repair and Marine Engineering Training.

    In order to make it still more economical, the yard has approached the Indian government in order to gain permission to increase its repair capacity, and is seeking infrastructure status, which would enable it to raise funds at economical rates.

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