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Simplex Infra to construct 610-crore ship-repair facility for Cochin Shipyard

Simplex Infrastructures Ltd will construct a new ship repair facility for Cochin shipyard near Cochin Port as the State-owned firm looks to expand its high-margin ship repair business.

Cochin Shipyard has entrusted the construction of ship repair faciliity at a cost of Rs 610-crore to Simplex Infrastructures on October 30, Shipping Ministry sources said. Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari will lay the foundation stone for the project on November 17.

Cochin Shipyard sold shares through an initial public offering (IPO) in August to raise money to part fund an expansion plan involving the construction of a Rs 1,800-crore new dry dock to build large and sophisticated ships and a Rs 970-crore exclusive facility to boost its ship repair capacity.

As much as 26 per cent of Cochin Shipyard’s revenue came from ship repairs during the last financial year. The revenue from this front is increasing consistently by big numbers said the shipyard sources. The shipyard's ship repair revenues have jumped from Rs 196 crore in FY 15 to Rs375 crore in FY 16 to Rs 550 crore in FY 17.

To tap more business, Simplex infrastructure is setting up an exclusive ship repair facility on 16.9 hectares of land and 15.6 hectare of water front leased from Cochin Port Trust, including their existing ship repair facility, for 30 years. The new repair facility comprises a ship-lift, transfer system and allied facilities. The ship lift is designed for vessels with a length of as much as 130 metres and a lifting capacity of 6,000 tonnes.

The existing repair dock in Shipyard's premises – one of the largest in India – can accommodate 80 to 100 ships a year. “We are turning down as many as 30 ships a year because of lack of capacity.”

The Shipyard is not selective in taking ship repair works. “We repair fishing vessels, survey vessels, seismic vessels, geological survey vessels, oil drilling rigs, tankers, bulk carriers, cement carriers, chemical tankers, and all types of naval ships such as aircraft carriers, offshore patrol vessels, fast patrol vessels and landing platform docks. That’s our versatility,” the official said.

The country's fleet of some 1,350 vessels represents a huge opportunity to boost India’s share in the commercial ship repair market. The ship repair market for the Indian fleet alone is estimated to be worth 2,600-2,800 crore, according to Shipping Ministry's assessment.


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