Cochin Shipyard to lease dry docks of Mumbai and Kolkata Port Trusts to boost repair business


Mumbai-listed Cochin Shipyard Ltd is boosting its ship repair capacity by partnering with Mumbai Port Trust and Kolkata Port Trust to take over and run their dry docks on a long-term lease.

The move is part of the Shipping Ministry’s plan to maximise the revenue potential of dry repair infrastructure at major port trusts through partnerships with ship-repair specialists.

Cochin Shipyard and Mumbai Port Trust, both state-owned, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Thursday, for management and operation of the existing ship-repair facilities at Indira Dock for commercial and defence ship repairs.

The MoU also provides for expansion of the ship-repair capacity within the Indira Dock, and may include the setting up of a floating dry dock (FDD) and upgrading the existing facility at Hughes dry dock to scale-up the existing ship-repair capacity at Mumbai Port Trust.

A similar MoU will be signed between Kolkata Port Trust and Cochin Shipyard next week for leasing Netaji Subhash dry dock 1 and 2.

In 2012, Cochin Shipyard leased the land on which a dry dock and slipway is constructed at Cochin Port Trust. The dry dock and the adjoining waterfront area is currently being utilised for the repair of small-sized vessels such as tugs, coast guard vessels and barges.

Cochin Shipyard has also started work on constructing an exclusive international ship repair facility at Cochin Port Trust on some 16.9 hectare 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.

While the partnership with major port trusts having dry-repair infrastructure will help Cochin Shipyard boost its high margin ship-repair business, the port trusts will gain from better utilisation of their dry docks and augment revenue.

India’s domestic fleet of about 1,350 ships represents a huge opportunity to boost India’s share in the commercial ship repair market, according to AT Kearney, a global management consulting firm, which was mandated by the Shipping Ministry to undertake a study on the ‘Use of Port Infrastructure for Ship Repair’.