• Wed. Feb 21st, 2024

PM dedicates to nation infrastructure projects worth more than ₹4,000 crores in Kochi

The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi inaugurated three major infrastructure projects worth more than Rs 4,000s crore in Kochi, Kerala today. The projects being inaugurated today include New Dry Dock (NDD) at Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) of CSL, and LPG Import Terminal of Indian Oil Corporation Limited at Puthuvypeen, Kochi. These major infrastructure projects are in line with the Prime Minister’s vision to transform India’s ports, shipping, and waterways sector, and build capacity and self-sufficiency in it.

The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal joined the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi when these four projects were dedicated to the nation here at CSL today.

Emphasizing the role of every state in the journey of making India ‘Viksit Bharat’ during the Amrit Kaal. The Prime Minister recalled the role of ports in India’s erstwhile prosperity in earlier times and envisaged a similar role for ports now when India is taking new strides and becoming a major center of global trade. In such a scenario, the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi said that the Government is engaged in improving the strength of port cities like Kochi. He listed an increase in port capacity, investment in port infrastructure, and improved connectivity of ports under the Sagarmala Project.

The Prime Minister mentioned the country’s largest dry dock that Kochi received today. Other projects like shipbuilding, ship repairing and LPG import terminal will also give momentum to development in Kerala and the southern region of the country. He also noted the honour of building ‘Made in India’ aircraft carrier INS Vikrant with the Kochi Shipyard. New facilities will enhance the capabilities of the shipyard many times.

The Prime Minister highlighted the reforms made in the ports, shipping and waterways sector in the last 10 years and said that it has brought new investments in India’s ports and created new employment opportunities. He informed that the reforms of rules related to Indian Seafarers led to an increase in the number of seafarers in the country by 140 percent. Within the country, the Prime Minister said that passenger and cargo transport got a major boost by making use of inland waterways.

“Sabka Prayas yields better results”, he remarked highlighting that Indian ports have achieved double-digit annual growth in the last 10 years. Till 10 years ago, he recalled that ships had to wait quite long at the ports and the unloading took very long. “Today, the situation has changed”, Shri Modi said, informing that India has surpassed many developed nations when it comes to ship-turnaround time.

“The world is recognizing India’s potential and position in global trade”, the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi said, throwing light on the agreements made during India’s G20 Presidency regarding the Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor. Shri Modi underlined that the Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor will further strengthen the creation of Viksit Bharat by giving a boost to the coastal economy of India. The Prime Minister also touched upon the recently launched Maritime Amrit Kaal Vision which presents a roadmap to reinforce India’s maritime prowess for Viksit Bharat. He reiterated the government’s efforts to build mega ports, shipbuilding and ship-repairing infrastructure in the country.

The Prime Minister said that the new dry dock is the national pride of India. This will not only enable big vessels to dock but also make shipbuilding and ship repair work possible here, reducing dependence on foreign countries and will also save foreign exchange.

The New Dry Dock (NDD), with a length of 310 meters, is built at par international standard at an investment of ₹1799 crores. This national pride is an engineering marvel which is capable of handling aircraft carriers twice the displacement of INS Vikrant or other larger ships like Suezmax, Capesize, LNG ships and Jack Up rigs. This strategic asset is also enabled with critical capabilities for Naval & other commercial ships in the event of an emergency. A flagship project reflecting India’s engineering prowess and project management capabilities, the NDD is one of the largest marine infrastructures in the region. It has incorporated the latest technology and innovations to ensure efficiency, safety, and environmental sustainability.

The International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) is India’s first fully developed pure ship repair ecosystem which will add 25% capacity of ship repair industry in the country. Built at an investment of ₹970 crores, it will also provide rapid turnaround for India’s Naval and Coast Guard ships during emergency as planned refits. ISRF will add capacity for nearly 80 vessels or more per year. Set up in 42 acres of leased premises of the Cochin Port Authority at Willingdon Island, Kochi, the ISRF will modernise and expand the existing ship repair capabilities of CSL and to transform it as a global ship repair hub and align with Prime Minister’s vision of creating ship repair clusters in India and strengthening India’s position in the global maritime space.

An LPG Import Terminal for IOCL was also inaugurated today at Puthuvypeen, Kochi with a state-of-the-art infrastructure connected with Multi-User Liquid Terminal Jetty through a 3.5 km Cross Country Pipeline. With a storage capacity of 15,400 MT, the terminal aims at achieving a turnover of 1.2 MMTPA. The terminal will ensure LPG distribution through road and pipeline transfers, which will directly benefit bottling plants in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It will significantly enhance India’s energy infrastructure by ensuring a steady supply of LPG, benefiting millions of households and businesses in and around the region. This project will further strengthen India’s efforts towards ensuring accessible & affordable energy for all.

Speaking on the occasion,  Sonowal said, “It is a great day for India’s shipping industry with the inauguration of these projects by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji today. These projects will not only bolster Shri Modi ji’s vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat but will also act as fine instruments of growth, development and employment for people of Kerala and the country at large. This is what ‘Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas’ truly implies. As symbols of national pride, these projects are a testament to the engineering and project management capacity of India. Kochi, which has a rich marine history, continues to drive home value as these projects is likely to provide direct employment to about 4000 people, with multiplier effect to amp up income in MSME, ancillary industries, logistics, transportation, banking, insurance, hospitality etc. leading to an all round economic growth. These projects will also propel Cochin Shipyard Limited’s growth as it aims to double its turnover by 2028. I am happy to share that this project will lead to annual logistic saving of ₹150 crores, along with reduction in 18 thousand tons of CO₂ emissions per annum. The construction of the LPG Import Terminal has also resulted in the creation of 3.7 lakh man-days during construction phase and will lead to 19,800 man-days per year during operation phase.”

The Union Minister added that the projects were setting a global benchmark and that they were in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas’ and developing thriving infrastructure for a Viksit Bharat by 2047. Within the framework of Maritime India Vision 2030 (MIV), India is poised to ascend to the Top 10 global ranking in both shipbuilding and ship repair. Aligned with the ambitious goals set forth in the Maritime Amrit Kaal Vision 2047, India aims to elevate Kochi into a prominent Maritime Cluster and a Global Hub for Green Ship with its Green Tug Transition Programme (GTTP). This strategic vision reflects a commitment to excellence and innovation in the maritime sector, fostering growth and global recognition. Under the Maritime Amrit Kaal Vision 2047, Ministry is taking a series of initiatives to enhance Shipbuilding, Ship Repair and increasing the Indian tonnage to be among the top-five nations globally by 2047. Together, these initiatives are expected to bring investment of around ₹45,000 Cr. in the sector with employment generation of more than 50,000 people.

Adding further, he said, “Under the visionary leadership of the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, there has been a concerted effort towards building capacity in ship-building, ship-repair and increase India’s tonnage to be among top-five globally as per Maritime Amritkaal Vision, 2047. With the launch of these initiatives, we are expected to bring investment of around ₹45,000 Cr. in the sector with employment generation of more than 50,000 people. With an effort to become Atmanirbhar, we are working towards increasing Indian flagged fleet and minimise our dependency on foreign ships as much as possible. With shipping added into the Harmonised Master List of Infrastructure Sectors, the sector will get benefit to avail long term, low cost funding for acquisition of shipping tonnage to Indian shipping companies. A Maritime Development Fund (MDF) is also being set up to provide competitive long term financial assistance to shipping sector. CSL has received global recognition after successful delivery of autonomous electric barges to Norway recently. With strong products like Next Generation Green Technology ships like Hybrid Electric Catamaran, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ferry etc, CSL is poised to play an anchor role in India’s resurgence as a major maritime player in the world.”

Governor of Kerala, Arif Mohammed Khan, Chief Minister of Kerala,  Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Shantanu Thakur; the Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Tourism, Shripad Naik among others were present on the occasion among others.

It is noteworthy that, ship size-wise, India has successfully built the largest vessels, including 93k tankers and the recent addition of Vikrant. While CSL stands as the only yard with full-fledged Shipbuilding and Ship repair capabilities. CSL has a strong pipeline of Next-Generation Green Technology Ships like Hybrid Electric Catamaran, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ferry, etc. These strides in technology will redefine the maritime industry’s future. Under its Green Vessels Transition Programme, CSL to build 8 Green Vessels for IWAI in which 2 are already delivered and rest will be delivered in due time. CSL as the major ship repairer in India is leading the county’s initiative for setting up ship repair clusters on the west coast of India. The new International Ship Repair Facility by CSL would form part of the Kochi Ship Repair cluster.

The Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW), is working on to set up a Centre of Excellence in Shipbuilding & Repair to foster innovation in Ship building and repair particularly for large and upcoming vessel segments. In future, Ship repair clusters in strategic locations like Kochi, Chennai and Mumbai will be created to create a robust ecosystem for the Indian marine sector. The Ministry will also be providing world class education, research, and training facilities to the Indian seafarers. To propel the Ship Repair Sector, MoPSW is working on to relax ‘Free Trade Warehousing Zone’ (FTWZ) conditions, to provide customs exemption on import material for vessel’s repairs, setting up a Free Trade Depot at shipyards enabling manufacturers, ancillary parties, traders and entrepreneurs. As part of future plans, discussions are also underway for a Ship Repair facility at Vadinar by Deendayal Port Authority, Kandla. The Techno-economic Feasibility report is being prepared for the same, aims to trigger the Mumbai-Gujarat Ship Repair cluster.

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