Indian shipbuilders may make LNG tankers for GAIL
Sagar Mala project to get a boost
As part of the ‘Make in India’ programme announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently, the Shipping Ministry has identified the State-run Cochin Shipyard in Kerala, and private yards at Katupalli (Tamil Nadu) and Pipavav (Gujarat) to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) ships.
Indian shipbuilders are likely to construct three LNG tankers needed by GAIL (India) Ltd to transport gas from the US. This is likely to commence in the end of 2017.
Shipbuilding is an industry dominated by South Korea, Japan and China. “We will bring in a very attractive promotion policy to encourage ship building industry in India,” Shipping Secretary Vishwapati Trivedi told newspersons after inaugurating a direct container service from Chennai to Yangoon in Myanmar at the Chennai port.
“We are looking at building three LNG ships in the next six years. Hopefully, the state-owned Shipping Corporation of India will run these ships. Each ship will cost around 1,500 crore. While money is not an issue as the GAIL Ltd will take care, the issue is about getting technology partners,” he said. The Shipping Ministry will give a boost to the Sagar Mala project, an initiative launched by former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2003, to connect ports to hinterland by road and rail.
However, this time the additional thrust is on port-led development like the one initiated at Kamarajar port, coastal shipping and inland waterways.