Cochin Shipyard Achieving Excellent Grade for 2013-2014
Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) is the largest shipbuilding and maintenance facility in India. It is part of a line of maritime-related facilities in the port-city of Kochi, in the state of Kerala, India. Of the services provided by the shipyard are building platform supply vessels and double-hulled oil tankers. Presently it is building the first indigenous aircraft carrier for the Indian Navy.
Cochin Shipyard was incorporated in 1972 as a Government of India company, with the first phase of facilities coming online in 1982. The yard has facilities to build vessels up to 1.1 million tons and repair vessels up to 1.25 million tons, the largest such facilities in India. In August 2012, the Government of India announced plans of divestment to raise capital of 15,000 million rupees for further expansion through an IPO towards the end of the fiscal year.
The shipyard also trains graduate engineers in marine engineering. Around one hundred students are trained each year.
The first ship to roll out of the Cochin Shipyard was the MV Rani Padmini in 1981.
The yard has delivered two of India’s largest double-hull Aframax tankers each of 95,000 DWT.
CSL has secured shipbuilding orders from internationally renowned companies from Europe and the Middle East. The shipyard is building six 30,000 DWT bulk carriers for Clipper Group of the Bahamas and the first three vessels have been launched.
Eight platform supply vessels for the Norwegian Seatankers Management Company, are also under construction.
Cochin Shipyard is currently building India’s first indigenuous aircraft carrier. The Vikrant-class aircraft carriers (formerly, the Project 71 “Air Defence Ship” (ADS)) are the first aircraft carriers of the Indian Navy to be designed and built in India. The Vikrant-class carriers will be the largest warships built by CSL.
Work on the lead vessel of the class started in 2008, and the keel was laid in February 2009. The first carrier of the class was expected to enter service by 2012, but was delayed by a year reportedly due to the inability of Russia to supply the AB/A grade steel. This led to SAIL creating facilities to manufacture the steel in India. In August 2009 the military purchasing publicationDefence Industry Daily reported that the in-service date had been postponed to at least 2015.
The keel for the lead vessel of the class, INS Vikrant, was laid by the defence minister A.K Antony at the Cochin Shipyard on 28 February 2009. The ship will use modular construction. A total of 874 blocks will be joined together to speed up the building process. By the time the keel was laid, 423 blocks weighing over 8,000 tons, were completed.
The vessel was launched in 2012 when it comprised some 20,000 tonnes, including the hull, as it cannot be launched at a higher displacement from the building bay. After about a year’s development in the refit dock, it will be launched again when all major components and everything underwater would be in place. Only outfitting would then remain. As per the CCS (Cabinet Committee on Security) plan, sea trials were initially planned to commence in 2013, with the ship to be commissioned in 2014. But, it was reported by [The Times of India] that the construction of the Vikrant has been delayed by three years, and the ship would be ready for sea trials in 2015 and for commissioning by 2017
The order for the second aircraft carrier in the series was expected to be placed by 2010. The second carrier is planned to be inducted into the Indian Navy by 2017. The second aircraft carrier is said to be of higher tonnage of above 50,000 tons and will utilise steam catapults. A 65,000-ton IAC-II is on the drawing board. “It will be much bigger and capable of operating fighters, AEW (airborne early-warning) aircraft, tankers etc.,” Admiral Verma said.
The shipyard started offering ship repair services in 1982 and has undertaken upgrades and repairs for all types of ships including ships for the oil exploration industry as well as scheduled maintenance and life extension for ships of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, UTL, Fisheries and Cochin Port Trust, SCI & ONGC. It has performed major overhauls for the aircraft carrier, INS Viraat.
Recently CSL was awarded major maintenance and upgrade orders from ONGC. This included major overhaul of three rigs, Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit (MODU) Sagar Vijay, Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Sagar Bhushan and Jackup Rig Sagar Kiran.
Public Sector Cochin Shipyard Limited, under the Ministry of Shipping, has been graded as “Excellent” for the year 2013-14 for corporate governance among the Central Public Sector Undertakings. It got an annual score of 86.75 out of 100 for compliance of guidelines set by the Ministry of Heavy Industries & Public Enterprises in 2012 for the purpose.