DCI: Pioneer in Dredging and Maritime Developmen

The Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCI) was established in 1976 to provide dredging services to the major ports of India. The Corporation is a pioneer organization in the field of dred

Published: 29th January 2012 12:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 06:24 PM   |  A+A-


One of DCI’s dredgers

The Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCI) was established in 1976 to provide dredging services to the major ports of India. The Corporation is a pioneer organization in the field of dredging and maritime development. It is fully equipped to offer the complete range of dredging and allied services to users in India and abroad and to provide vital inputs for national development. Its head office is strategically situated on the east coast of India at Visakhapatnam.

The DCI helps to ensure continuous availability of the desired depths in the shipping channels of the major and non-major ports, Indian Navy, fishing harbours and other maritime organizations. It further serves the nation in a variety of ways, be it capital dredging for creation of new harbours, deepening of existing harbours or maintenance dredging for the upkeep of the required depths at various ports along the 7,500-km coastline of India.

The Corporation owns most modern and sophisticated fleet consisting of 10 Trailer Suction Dredgers, three Cutter Suction Dredgers and one Back hoe dredger. It has also has placed an order for the procurement of three Trailer Suction hopper dredgers.

The DCI is the only dredging company in the public sector schedule B Mini Ratna Category PSE. It has been signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Shipping, Government of India since 1991-92.

The Corporation was incorporated on March 29, 1976. Today, it is among the Public Sector Undertakings of India in which the Government has disinvested its share holding. The shares of the Company are listed at Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta & the National Stock Exchanges of India.

Three key factors have contributed to DCI’s success. They include:

Its 30-year experience in dredging, knowledge of all major ports in respect of siltation patterns and material characteristics  

Whenever any major port or the Indian Navy was in distress on account of fall in channel depths, DCI would readily help them out by providing necessary dredging support

The availability of modern, sophisticated as well as old dredgers and in-house expertise in dredging.

The quantity (in million cubic metres) dredged by the DCI with its own dredgers during the last five years is as follows: 55.23 in 2006-07; 46.00 in 2007-08; 49.87 in 2008-09; and 53.67 in 2009-10.

With the advent of new ports and the deep draft requirements of the existing ports, India has huge potential for both maintenance as well as capital dredging market. The existing dredging capacity of DCI in fact hardly meets the Indian dredging demand. Consequently, there is not much opportunity for DCI to bid for jobs abroad. But still, DCI has gained international exposure by chartering out two of its dredgers for reclamation projects at Taiwan and Bahrain.

Based on the experience gained in the overseas dredging market, in case sufficient capacity is available after meeting domestic dredging demand, DCI can now plan for undertaking dredging jobs abroad.

Meanwhile, the major Indian projects that have either been completed by DCI or are underway, include:

Maintenance dredging at Haldia, Paradip, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Cochin, Mormugao, New Mangalore, Mumbai, JNPT and Kandla

Capital Dredging works with reclamation works completed at Hazira, Mormugao Port Trust, Mormugao, Kolkata Port Trust, Cochin Port Trust, Kakinada Port,  Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, Paradip Port Trust, New Mangalore Port Trust,  Bharat Petroleum Corporation, JNPT,  Visakhapatnam Port Trust, Taichung Harbour, Taichung, Taiwan.

Beach nourishment projects completed at Paradip and Visakhapatnam  

Ongoing projects include maintenance dredging at Haldia, Visakhapatnam, Southern Naval Command, Cochin Port and Karwar, etc. The on going capital dredging projects are at Ennore, Goa and Paradip. On going Beach nourishment projects are at Visakhapatnam and Ennore.

Challenges and initiatives of the CMD to the company’s growth: DCI’s fleet is getting old and no new Trailer Suction Hopper dredgers were added for about nine years.  Frequent break down of the existing dredgers and delayed dry-dock repairs by the yards are affecting DCI’s operations. Delay in the completion of some of the projects is due to the above reason.

But three most modern and sophisticated trailer suction hopper dredgers with state-of-the-art technology and hopper capacity of 5500 cu.m. each will be joining the fleet very soon. The first dredger is scheduled to be delivered by the renowned builder IHC Holland in November 2012. This will strengthen and enhance our DCI’s dredging capability. As such, it is gearing up to meet the enormous  dredging needs of the country as projected in the Maritime Agenda  2020  of the Ministry of Shipping.

 The priority is to conduct timely repairs, retrofit/ refurbishing of some of the ageing dredgers to bring them back into operation at the earliest. By proper planning and close monitoring of the activities, it is expected that DCI will be fully on track by the end of this fiscal.

Projects have also been closely monitored to reduce time cost overruns and, wherever required, senior officers have been deputed to oversee the projects. The CMD believes in regular discussions with clients to resolve any outstanding issues amicably.

Pouching of the senior and experienced employees, both from shore as well as from floating, by some private dredging companies is another area of concern. Initiated incentive schemes and market correction allowances have been launched to reduce employee attrition. Action has also been initiated to fill all vacancies at different levels on a priority basis. This will infuse young blood into the company.


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