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Behemoth Rs 32,000 crore waits to transform industries in Goa

 Michael Fisher

The Centre’s decision to confer Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) with the behemoth Rs32,000 crores defense contract to manufacture 12 Marine Counter-Measure Vessels (MCMVs) has come as a major boost and wake-up call for Goan shipbuilders facing the brunt from stoppage of mining activities to bag fabrication projects.When it comes to mass manufacturing of components for defense ships, South Korean manufacturers in this sector dominate the global market for customised components. By inviting Korean companies to Goa, the government is keen to get them begin manufacturing ship component products to generate employment, and to reduce the trade deficit between India and South Korea.

Timblo Drydocks

The MCMV is a marine counter vessel which detects and destroys. Its technology involves specialised equipments and non magnetic noise and current resistance. Twelve vessels is a behemoth order, says (Retd) Commander Subhas Mutrejan and CEO of Timblo Drydocks and Shipyards Pvt Ltd is hoping to win some ship component orders.

The MCMV is built of non-magnetic steel or fiber reinforced plastic. These specifications have been chosen for the full FRP hull, a first of its kind to be manufactured in India.

Since the Goa policy is to Make in India, two Korean shipbuilders Kangan and STX are interacting with local ship builders and with companies from neighbouring states, such as BEL, Timblo Dry Docks, Dempo Ship builders, Chowgule, Pipavae taken over by Reliance and some public sector such as Garden Reach of Calcutta and others.

Timblo Dry Docks is in the business of shipbuilding and construction of FRP boats. We are looking at the possibility of supporting Goa Shipyard Ltd by providing various FRP panels, structures and other FRP requirements, says CDR Mutrejan.

For the MCMV details are still being worked out. GSL is expected to select technology partner by August and finalized the technology by February or March 2016.  The classification society will be chosen only for the hull. The Navy has set up a WOT for inspection at various stages of manufacturing and quality controls.

By collaborating with South Korean companies, cost wise the equipment will be very competitive by 65 per cent compared with international manufacturers. The Korean ship component manufacturers convention organized by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) was very successful, and I look forward to fruitful and vast fabrication industry in Goa, CDR Mutrejan said.

Western India Shipyard

Western India Shipyard ltd (WISL) Head Yard AR Rao said greater cooperation between maritime companies in goa will revive the almost dormant ship building/ship repair industry. The entire vessel hull can be built in smaller yards upriver and floated down to WISL where the entire outfitting and basin trials can be carried out.

For example, one of the most sophisticated commercial vessels constructed in a Goa shipyard, a light sub-sea construction vessel, dp2, SPS code built under ABS class, was built at Timblo Drydocks, the final outfitting commissioning and pre-delivery dry-docking was done at Wisl and MPT, this exercise was done last year and shows that local companies instead of bidding against one another can form a viable cooperative entity. In this regard, WISL has the capacity to berth four ships safely at any time.

Also revival of such industry will create indirect employment such as small and medium players in the hospitality industry, transport and service section. While shipbuilding will give business and boost to larger, established players, it is ship repair that will actually benefit the small and mid-level players and create a platform for young and dynamic entrepreneurs.

In such instances, the role that the Center and Sate can play is to provide a platform in terms of infrastructure at low and reasonable cost to conduct these activities, especially  ship repair that is highly labor intensive and can create to large volumes of direct and indirect employment.

WISL has a cumulative experience of over 20 years in ship repair having repaired over 500 ocean going vessels and 13 rigs, the shipping crisis of the past few years has also hit the yard, however now the yard is gradually recovering and the future looks promising, said Rao.

Bilateral trade between India and South Korea has grown significantly in recent years, growing from around $12 billion in FY2009-10 to about $16.7 billion in FY2013-14, registering a growth of almost 40%. However, India’s trade deficit with South Korea has also surged from around $5.1 billion to around $8.3 billion, which is up around 62% in the same period.

Most of India’s imports from South Korea include chemicals, plastics, industrial products, iron and steel, ships and floating structures. India is keen to get South Korean companies begin manufacturing of some of these products in India to reduce trade deficit and to generate employment.


Goa grabs prestigious Korean order

When Verna-based Arul Linu Grabs exported its grab handling equipment to China in 2010, the Chinese company in turn recommended the Goa company to Shipping Corporation of India (SCI), which purchased its grabs, such is the quality of Alrul Lino Gabs.

Arrul was the first to bag an award from a Korean, among the delegates visiting the State for the Make in Goa convention hosted by CII.  It was Mr Parag Joshi CII chairman who introduced us to the Korean company and gave them a brief about us.

“Thereafter we exported 16 grabs, and to the shipping company Stellar Ocean Transport purchased 43 grabs. Our grabs are made under the strict Bureau Veritas quality standards,” says Thomas Arul managing director.

We manufacture grabs from .5 cubic meter to 50 m3. MPT and most of mining companies have purchased our grabs for transporting iron ore. We have exported to China, Switzerland, Dubai, Greece and Australia.

The company has received orders from a visiting Korean company which had no reason to visit its factory when the importers were known to them, said Thomas. We have the capability to manufacturer bulk material handling equipment such as continuous ship unloader, grab bucket unloader, stacker, reclaimer but for the want of testing facility which Goa lacks, we are holding back our future plans, he said.

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