India’s gas utility Gail India Ltd has postponed the closing date for its tender related to the construction of nine LNG carriers for two months, giving Indian shipyards the necessary time to prepare for building these vessels.
The tender, quoted in three lots of three ships each, out of which three ships would have to be built in India to boost Indian shipbuilding capabilities, has now been extended to the end of February, 2016.
The move was undertaken after the Indian shipbuilders said they need time to tie up technology for the construction of LNG carriers.
After the company postponed the tender deadline three times, the tender was finally closed in February 2015 due to failure to attract bidders.
The company reopened the tender in September, which led three local builders, namely Cochin Shipyard Ltd, L&T Shipbuilding Ltd, a unit of Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T), and Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Ltd, to partner with international companies to construct the technologically-advanced ships.
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, and Pipavav teamed up with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering.
However, Indian shipbuilder Larsen & Toubro Ltd soon decided to withdraw from the race for the LNG carriers, due to a requirement set by the tender that the shipyards must hold an equity stake of as much as 13% in the carriers that are to be built locally.
As World Maritime News recently reported, Cochin Shipyard received a license by French containment systems specialist Gaztransport & Technigaz (GTT) for the construction of LNG carriers using GTT’s membrane containment systems after successfully completing the GTT qualification process including membrane tank mock-up installation. Cochin is the first Indian shipyard to be licensed by GTT.
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