As the failure of GAIL’s tender to hire nine LNG newbuilds seems to be imminent, a South Korean shipyard has decided to build liquefied natural gas carriers in India.
India’s Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan said in a written reply to Rajya Sabha that Samsung shipyard has signed a collaboration agreement with Cochin shipyard.
GAIL issued a tender to charter hire 9 ships quoted in 3 lots of 3 ships each and 1 ship in each lot was to be built in an Indian Shipyard.
“GAIL’s tender specified that Indian shipyards would require to forge a binding technical collaboration with foreign shipyard who would transfer LNG shipbuilding technology. However, no qualified foreign shipyard signed a binding collaboration with an Indian shipyard till the due date for bid submission,” the minister said in his response.
The “Built in India” requirement seemed to be the major obstacle, as Korean shipyards were reluctant to share expertise and technology with Indian counterparts. This was the main reason the submission deadline was postponed three times before GAIL finally canceled the tender in February. Whether the company will issue a revised tender remains to be seen.
However, consistent efforts of the Indian Government with the Korean Government for persuading the Korean shipyards to collaborate with Indian shipyards have given results as Samsung signed a deal with Cochin shipyard. It was earlier reported that L&T Shipbuilding, a Larsen & Toubro unit, signed a similar agreement with Hyundai Heavy Industries.
LNG World News Staff; Image: Cochin Shipyard