Cochin Shipyard ready to build yet another aircraft carrier

42 acres leased from trust | Project expected to be commissioned by 2023
CSL CMD Madhu S Nair inaugurating ‘Take off Kerala’ at Press Club | Express
CSL CMD Madhu S Nair inaugurating ‘Take off Kerala’ at Press Club | Express

KOCHI: The successful delivery of the country’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier, INS Vikrant, to the Indian Navy has given the Cochin Shipyard the confidence to build another aircraft carrier, if an opportunity arises in future. Cochin Shipyard chairman and managing director Madhu S Nair said so while inaugurating a meet the press programme titled ‘Take Off Kerala’ organised at the Ernakulam Press Club on Thursday.

“We would be very happy to build one more aircraft carrier for the country. We have the expertise, infrastructure facilities, and a dock to do so. The dock that we are constructing has the capacity to carry 7,000 tonnes of weight per metre. No other dock exists with such a facility in the country. It will be completed by 2024,” Madhu said.

He claimed the shipyard’s experience in building INS Vikrant, which will soon be commissioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will help them complete a similar platform quicker.“Though the work on India’s first Indigenous Aircraft Carrier started in 2004, technically, it began by 2007. It took nearly 15 years for the Cochin Shipyard to deliver the aircraft carrier to the Indian Navy. But, as per the existing facilities and expertise, we are confident enough to complete a similar project within seven to eight years,” he pointed out.

Kochi to become India’s ship repair hub Madhu said Kochi will soon become the ship repair hub of India, with a Rs 970-crore International Ship Repair Facility being built on Willingdon Island.“We have leased 42 acres from the Cochin Port Trust for the purpose. Seventy percent of the work has been completed. The platform for shiplift is awaiting delivery from Vietnam. We expect to commission the project by December 2023. With the commissioning of the new project and given the facilities existing at Cochin Shipyard, we can increase the capacity of shipbuilding from 100 to 160. This will help Kochi become the ship repair hub of India,” he said.

He said Cochin Shipyard’s expansion will boost employment opportunities as well. Once the Willingdon Island project is commissioned, nearly 3,000 jobs will be created, he pointed out.He said Cochin Shipyard will be in a strong position in the next five years as it has created a mark in defence space, both in ship building and repair.

Future plans

Cochin Shipyard investing nearly Rs 2,800 crore in Kochi projects
Rs 970-crore International Ship Repair Facility expected to be commissioned by 2023
70% of the project’s work completed
Commissioning of the project will create 3,000 employment opportunities

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