Cochin Shipyard Eyes Gail’s LNG Newbuilds

India’s Cochin shipyard ltd (CSL) is interested in constructing LNG ships for India’s gas utility Gail India Ltd.

Gail announced earlier this month that it will shortly come out with an LNG ship charter hire tender specifying that one ship out of every lot of three ships each would be built in India.

The company plans to add nine LNG ships to carry the cargo from the US to India.

Gail has inked long term agreements with the US based companies Cheniere Energy Partner and Dominion Resources for transportation of LNG from Sabine Pass and Cove Point terminals in USA.

Cochin shipyard, like the majority of local shipbuilders, lack the necessary know-how and experience in building these sophisticated ships, and will probably have to outsource for the purpose.

According to the sources close to the matter, the shipyard is in talks with French firm GTT, which specializes in the design and construction of containment system for transporting LNG in ships. The shipyard is also said to be in similar talks with a Korean firm.

Gail had to think long and hard before opting for domestic shipbuilders with regard to their capacity to build cryogenic LNG carriers and the length of the process, as first estimates indicate it would take up to six years to build these indigenously.

The LNG carriers have a price tag of $220 million each, with 280 metres in length and 48 metres in width, as their capacity would be 1,80,000 cubic metres of gas.

For this purpose, CSL would probably have to expand existing capacities, as the company looks to build a new drydock.

World Maritime News Staff, August 7, 2014

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