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INDIA: Big Plans To Acquire Ships, Aid Shipbuilder

India Shipping Corp. Plans To Spend $1.3 Billion To Buy 44 Ships In the next five years, Shipping Corp. of India plans to buy 44 vessels totaling 1.95 million dwt, the country's Surface Ministry reported. The ministry estimates the total cost to be $1.3 billion. The increased capacity is reportedly needed to meet the country's increasing demand for crude oil imports, and also to deal with a sharp rise in waterways trade. The company currently has a fleet of 29 crude oil tankers.

Shipping Corp. Tanker Deal Given Greenlight The Indian government reportedly approved a proposal by stateowned Shipping Corp. of India to buy two crude oil tankers from Halla Engineering and Heavy Industries for $42.1 million each. The Aframax tankers will be designed with a capacity of 110,000 dwt each.

Aid Package Announced For Shipbuilders India also announced an aid package for its shipbuilding industry — a package which includes a hefty five-year, 30-percent subsidy The measure is intended to help bring the country's shipbuilding prices down to competitive world levels.

The Surface Transport Ministry said in a statement that the plan stipulates that the government would pay a 30 percent subsidy to the yard over and above the international price of the vessel.

The ministry is reportedly encouraged by a capital restructuring plan at Cochin Shipyards Ltd., and had approved a similar package for Hindustan Shipyard Ltd. It announced that the government was writing off 4.7 billion rupees ($130 million) of government loans and interest, and converting 1.2 billion rupees of debt into equity as part of the package.

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