KOCHI: The ONGC drill rig ‘Sagar Bhushan’, a blast in which killed five workers and left some workers injured at the Cochin Shipyard on Tuesday, is the first indigenously-built drill ship in India. It came to Kochi for repair after a gap of almost 12 years. Commissioned in 1987, the ship was a regular at Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) since 1990 till 2006, when it last stopped here for repairs. After repairs, the ship was deployed to the east coast of India and was subsequently sent to Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, Visakhapatnam, for repairs.
“It was deployed again to the west coast this year and so, it came to Cochin Shipyard for repair this year,” said CSL authorities. In 2006, two other ONGC ships ‘Sagar Vijay’ and ‘Sagar Kiran’ had also underwent maintenance at CSL. Sagar Bhushan had worked on over 50 wells of which more than 50 per cent were gas or oil fields. It was undergoing mandatory special survey (Hull and Machinery) repairs at CSL as per class requirement.
The 146-m long ship can drill up to 20,000 ft and carry 11,103 tonnes, including goods. It arrived at Cochin Shipyard on December 7 last year for dry dock repairs. It was dry docked on January 12 and was to be undocked on February 28. The work was scheduled to be completed in April.
Ship repair is a major source of income for CSL as is evident from the fact it earned Rs 585 crore last year via repairing alone. CSL is keen on expanding its ship repairing work and has commenced the construction of the International Ship Repair Facility. Recently, it also signed an MoU with the Mumbai Port Trust (MPT) for the management and operation of the facilities at MPT.