LNG shipbuilding industry in India could yet see a positive outcome as state-owned Cochin Shipyard managed to bring Samsung Heavy Industries to share its expertise and technology at the CSL’s Kochi shipyard.
This move puts CLS in position to finally bid on GAIL’s tender that will be revised and issued in April.
A shipping ministry official told Live Mint that Cochin Shipyard and SHI already signed an agreement to collaborate on LNG carriers construction. Neither company commented on the statement.
More reports reveal that L&T Shipbuilding, a Larsen & Toubro unit signed a similar agreement with Hyundai Heavy Industries.
It is believed that these deals are a result of diplomatic lobbying starting from minister Pradhan to India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj, all in an effort to revive India’s shipbuilding industry.
However, shipping industry executives believe that the revised tender to be issued by GAIL for hiring nine LNG carriers to transport chilled gas from the US could have a negative effect on India’s attempts to build these vessels locally.
According to an executive, the new tender is to be split into two, one for hiring six vessels to be built abroad and three vessels to be built in India. This raises fears that the tender for three domestic built carriers will find no takers due to price and quality concerns. He advised for the tender to be issued under the same conditions, guaranteeing a push start for India’s shipyards in the LNG shipbuilding market.
LNG World News Staff; Image: Cochin Shipyard