At a time when the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) had been put under the scanner for failing to meet its targets, its flagship entity Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) had fulfilled an order for supplying naval grade plates for the manufacture of special vessels for the Indian Navy.
Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) had placed an order with SAIL for special-grade steel certified by the Indian Registrar of Shipping (IRS) to manufacture Diving Support Vessels (DSV) for the Indian Navy. The central public sector undertaking under Ministry of Defence manufactures various types of ships and other vessels for the Indian Navy.
In the recent orders placed by the Indian Navy for development of ships with indigenous grades under the Make-in-India programme, it had recommended that steel plates should be certified by the National certifying body, the Indian Register of Shipping (IRS). BSP had been certified to manufacture and supply IRS grade plates of Normal Strength (A, B & D) with plate thickness from 8 mm (millimetre) to 45 mm in March, 2019.
“After getting certified, BSP’s plate mill has despatched around 1,938 tonnes of IRS grade-B plates out of the ordered quantity of 1,995 Tonnes by HSL between April and December 2019,” a SAIL spokesperson said. The IRS grade plates rolled out in the plant’s plate mill would be used for manufacturing of Diving Support Vessels used for search, rescue and repair of undersea submarines, and other structures.
The spokesperson said the requirement of plates was substantial considering the orders placed by Indian Navy on HSL. The company would be getting more orders for the special grade, he added.
BSP had been exporting ship-building grade plates and producing warship grade plates DMR 249 A for Indian Navy, which had certification from Lloyds Register Asia (LRA), American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and DetNorskeVeritas (DNV). The DMR 249 A grade plates that BSP continues to produce have been used to manufacture hull of Indian Navy’s aircraft carrier INS Vikrant and several other warships.