Shri Vinit Kumar, Chairman, Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata (SMP)and Rear Admiral VK Saxena, IN (Retd.), Chairman & Managing Director, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE)jointly inaugurated the GRSE-KPDD (Khidderpore Dry Dock) Unit in Kolkata today. This comes as part of a Concession Agreement signed between Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE), a Mini Ratna Category 1 Defence PSU and a leading warship building company of India, and Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata (SMP Kolkata) on 7th October, 2021 in presence of Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, towards development & utilisation of three existing dry docks of Khidderpore, Kolkata. 

Under the agreement, both GRSE & SMP, Kolkata shall look forward towards developing a dynamic partnership in exploring new business opportunities in Ship repair & refit of Defence & commercial segments, leading to revenue generation and contributing to skill development, infrastructure upgrade and employment generation in Kolkata.

On the occasion Rear Admiral VK Saxena, Chairman and Managing Director, GRSE, said, as part of the investment promotional activity of maritime India, this agreement aims to play a significant role towards growth plans for both the organisations and effective utilisation of the three existing docks at SMP, Kolkata. He said, the close proximity of GRSE with SMPK is an enhancer to the successful take off of this project as approximately 400 vessels operate in the Hooghly river and on the Indo-Bangladesh shipping route. Also, authorities handling smaller vessels may prefer to have dry docks in close proximity of their operational area. He added that GRSE’s proven expertise in carrying out construction, conversion and repair of over 4000 Naval & Merchant vessels during Second World War and building 788 platforms including 107 warships till date are the testimonies to the success of this new collaboration.

Highlighting the importance of newly formed GRSE-KPDD Unit, Shri Vinit Kumar, Chairman, SMPK said, the collaboration between GRSE and SMPK aims to provide prospects for ship repair business in the eastern region considering large number of inland vessels operating in this shipping route. This alliance also shapes new dimension towards revenue generation, development and perennial relationship with SMPK and GRSE’s expertise in shipbuilding and design arena gives it an edge over other players in the industry. Shri Vinit Kumar further stated that at Netaji Subhas Dock (NSD) of KDS, SMPK, Cochin Kolkata Ship Repair Unit (CKSRU), a unit of Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) is already maintaining Dry Docks facilities operational since 2019 in a befitting manner. Shri Kumar added that for proper and efficient functions, Ship repair ecosystem is now revived in a proper way at Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata.

The project envisages upgrading, operating and managing the infrastructural facilities at these docks towards their effective utilization.