Orders from Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) has breathed a fresh lease of life to the two idle dry docks of Bengal, officials said.
Cochin Shipyard Ltd had recently taken 74 per cent control of two dry docks of non-functional shipyards at Salkia and Nazirgunge of Hooghly Dock and Port Engineers (HDPE) in the city which are among the oldest in the country, in a joint venture with Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT).
IWAI has placed order with Cochin Shipyard for retrofitting 3 work boats (vessels) with engines capable of using methanol as fuel as part of a trial and these will happen in Kolkata, IWAI vice-chaiorman Pravir Pandey said.
Though the size of the order is just Rs 2-3 crore but that would set the motion of revival for these ailing dry docks, officials said.
They added that IWAI will place order for 20-25 ships of various cargo categories to boost cargo movement through waterways and a lot was expected to be bagged by the Cochin Shipyard.
The state-owned shipwayard has also secured 6 cargo vessels, the value of which is been worked out, Pandey said.
As per the agreement with KoPT a special purpose vehicle called Hooghly Cochin Shipyard Ltd had been formed with a paid-up capital of Rs 22 crore, in which Cochin Shipyard will hold 74 per cent stake.
"Cochin Shipyard Ltd has indicated an investment of Rs 130-150 crore over the next 3-5 years to revive the two shipyards against a minimum commitment of Rs 100 crore," HDPE Chairman Balaji Arun Kumar had said earlier.
Besides earning revenue for the port, the orders will help boost employment and maritime activity in the state, a KoPT official said.
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