Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) has been told by the country’s shipping minister to look for second-hand liquefied natural gas carriers (LNG) to fill in for the newbuild carriers that are to be built indigenously.
“I have given orders to SCI to find second hand ships. For the transport of LNG, we can give services to them (SCI),” Union Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari is reported as saying by the Press Trust of India.
The second-hand tankers would be hired for up to seven years until domestic shipyards develop the necessary capabilities to build their own LNG tankers.
SCI and GAIL (India) Limited formed a joint venture under which GAIL promised to secure USD 3 billion for the purchase of nine LNG ships, which will be run by SCI.
The third of the ships were intended to be built by domestic shipyards, which lack the necessary technological expertise.
However, three India’s shipyards have scored cooperation deals with shipyards that are willing to share their know-how on construction of these complex vessels.
India’s Cochin Shipyard Ltd has entered into a deal with South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries on exchanging technology, L&T Shipbuilding Ltd, a unit of Larsen and Toubro Ltd, (L&T Ltd), has partnered up with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries on the project and India’s Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering signed a cooperation deal with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering.
After an unsuccessful first tender round, Gail India said it would issue a new tender for the construction of nine LNG carriers which is expected to facilitate the bidding process and remove hurdles that have prolonged the project.
World Maritime News Staff