In a significant breakthrough, state-run Cochin Shipyard Ltd will build a high capacity dredger for Dredging Corporation of India Ltd worth as much as ₹800 crore with technology and design support from IHC Holland B V, the world’s largest dredger builder.
This will be the first dredger to be built by Cochin Shipyard at its yard in Cochin following a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with IHC in November last year for collaboration on technology and design for high capacity, complex dredgers, an official with the ministry of ports, shipping and waterways said.
Cochin Shipyard and Dredging Corporation will sign a separate MoU in Delhi on Wednesday on building the dredging with a hopper capacity of 12,000 cubic metres. At the same time, Cochin Shipyard and IHC will formally exchange the MoU signed in November last year on the collaboration for building big dredgers in India, the official said.
Most of the big dredgers run by Indian dredging companies, including Dredging Corporation, the country’s biggest dredging contractor, were built by IHC in Holland.
“India has never built big dredgers,” said the ministry official. Cochin Shipyard has been looking for a tie-up with IHC for some time, but it never materialised.
Dredgers are specialised and complex vessels with highly integrated technical components as well as demanding design and performance criteria. As such, dredger construction is a segment with an inherent high entry barrier, which can be considered advantageous to a yard like CSL with the necessary infrastructure, especially concerning the construction of the larger Cutter Suction Dredgers (CSD) and Trailing Suction Hopper Dredgers (TSHD).
With a specific focus on Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India initiatives of the government, local manufacturing is becoming a mandate.
CSL is looking at positioning itself by appropriately pre-aligning with technologically sound leading dredger design/ construction partners to ensure that it possesses the requisite technological back-up for constructing high-end dredgers of global standards in the country.
Dredging is one key area since it enables ports to achieve the strategic objective of deepening their draughts.
Dredger construction has been identified as a priority area for revenue growth in CSL’s strategy roadmap for 2030.
DCI’s fleet of 10 trailing suction hopper dredgers deliver 70-75% of the annual dredging for major Indian ports. As the step towards meeting the increasing demand for dredgers across the country, DCI plans to expand its fleet with a new 8,000-12,000 cubic metre hopper capacity dredger.