India has huge potential to develop ship repair facilities along its coastline, particularly in Goa, Kandla and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has said.
Reviewing the progress of Cochin Shipyard, Shipping Road Transport and Highways Minister Gadkari stressed that these yards could be developed in collaboration with the private sector.
“Gadkari, during his visit to Kerala on 26 September, 2016, reviewed the performance and future expansion plans of Cochin Port and Cochin Shipyard Ltd,” Ministry of Shipping said in a statement, adding that the plans include a dry dock project of Rs 1,800 crore and international ship repair facility of Rs 950 crore.
Projects for expansion of handling crude oil and refined petroleum products were also reviewed.
“Potential for developing ship repair facilities along the coastline particularly in Goa, Kandla and A&N Islands, was stressed by Minister.
“He suggested that this could be done in partnership with ship repair yards being run by the private sector, to develop capacities and creating a win-win situation,” the statement said.
He also stressed the need for identifying new streams of cargo, including from the “hinterland in Tamil Nadu which has a shorter distance to Cochin Port than to other ports” and considering the movement of approximately 35 MT of foodgrain into Kerala from other states, potential movement of such foodgrains through coastal shipping and creating dedicated foodgrain handling facility, including modern storage systems, in the form of silos.
He also emphasised on the need for developing coastal traffic comprising automobiles through Ro-Ro vessels as well as cement and construction material.
The minister also highlighted the importance of generating additional resources of revenue by using dredged material to generate sand for construction purpose, cryogenic warehouse facilities using low cost of coolant available from the LNG facility at the port and improving cruise tourism facility to increase number of cruise vessels handled from the existing level of 35-45 vessels per year.
Plans of the port to develop 181 acres of land to set up logistic park, warehousing zone and hospitality facilities were also discussed.
The minister asked for preparing a detailed master plan of the land where world class facilities should be developed.
He also suggested dedicating more resources for developing new products such as dredgers, Ro-Ro (roll on-roll off) and Ropax vessels, high speed catamaran and LNG fuel barges.