India’s Cochin shipyard is set to become the first domestic shipbuilder to build the country’s liquefied natural gas carriers (LNG) priced at USD 200 million each.
Cochin Shipyard LTD has reportedly partnered with French Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) to build the LNG carrier containment system, the Times of India reports citing unnamed sources from the country’s shipping ministry.
As disclosed, the two should formally sign the deal today. As a result, Cochin will have all the necessary technology and be ready to bid for Gail India’s LNG carriers to be built locally.
Indian shipyards lack the necessary expertise in construction of these complex ships, therefore the potential bidders have teamed up with South Korean counterparts to share technology and know-how.
India’s Cochin Shipyard Ltd entered into a deal with South Korean Samsung Heavy Industries, L&T Shipbuilding Ltd partnered up with Hyundai Heavy Industries whereas Pipavav teamed up with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering.
However, in September Indian shipbuilder Larsen & Toubro Ltd decided to withdraw from the race.
In September, Gail issued a new tender to hire nine newly-built LNG carriers under modified terms aimed at facilitating the bidding process and removing hurdles that have prolonged the project.
Under the new terms, Indian shipyards have been given the opportunity to take up to 13 % in each of the three carriers to be built locally.
The move would see the equity stakes held by India in the ships increase from previous 36% to 49% thus serving as an incentive to global fleet owners to opt for the remaining 51% stake.
Gail plans to time-charter the ships from global owners, who will order the construction of the nine ships.
The LNG carriers ordered overseas are to be completed by May 2019, whereas the batch to be built by domestic shipyards should be delivered between July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023.
World Maritime News Staff