State owned Dredging Corporation of India(DCI) is all set to acquire three new trailer-suction dredgers from IHC, Holland for Rs 1722 crore and has received the nod from the Public Investment Board yesterday.
The proposal will now move to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs(CCEA) for approval, joint secretary, ministry of shipping, Rakesh Srivastava informed here today. He also clarified that the Shipping Ministry is keen to develop the indigenous dredging industry and DCI would only acquire all the three dredgers from IHC on condition that it agrees to build one of the three in an Indian shipyard. "This will help in technology transfer", he said.
The order is likely to be placed by October this year and the deliveries should happen in 2012. "These would be two-tube dredgers with a capacity of 5000 cubic meters each", Srivastava said. DCI currently owns 12 dredgers and has chartered four for dredging at different ports across the country. It was engaged in works at Haldia, Paradip and Goa. It has contracts with the Kolkata Port Trust, New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT) and the Southern Naval Command, Kochi.During 2008-09, the DCI had registered the highest-ever turnover of Rs 832 crore and a net profit after tax of Rs 47 crore.
"We are now looking at encouiraging ports to charter their own dredgers and bear the costs themselves. Already major shipping companies like Mercator Lines and Jaisu Shipping have shown interest in the Indian dredging industry", Srivastava said. The target for the Eleventh Five Year Plan was 600 million cubic meters, he informed.
Mercator Lines chairman and managing director H K Mittal had said recently that "We are expecting our non shipping business revenue to be greater than shipping revenue by March 2011". The Mumbai based shipping company has the largest fleet in the dry bulk segment. Jaisu Shipping bagged the dredging contract of Kandla Port Trust last year.