Larsen and Toubro Ltd (L&T) has won a contract valued at about $240m to build four specialized ships for Dutch company RollDock BV.
Indian companies are currently building about 245 ships worth more than Rs20,000 crore. Of this, about 70% are for overseas clients, who are placing orders at Indian yards as shipbuilding facilities in maritime strongholds such as , and are fully booked till 2011.
Each ship will cost about $60m to build. These will be built at L&T’s shipyard at Hazira in and would take the firm’s order book to 12 ships. The Mumbai-based company launched its shipbuilding venture in May 2006 with an order for building four ships valued at Rs440 crore from Rotterdam-based Zadeko Ship Management CV (now known as ). The Dutch firm placed a repeat order in August 2007 with L&T for two more ships valued at more than $70 million.
L&T recently received the required approvals from the Tamil Nadu government to set up what will be the country’s biggest shipbuilding facility at Kattupalli in Thiruvallur district, near Chennai.
The proposed shipyard-cum-port project, which will cost more than Rs3,000 crore, will be capable of building 25 ships a year, including five very large crude carriers and 20 panamax vessels. The yard will also be able to repair 50-60 ships a year.
Very large crude carriers have a capacity to carry 300,000-350,000 tonnes of crude oil and panamax vessels can can each carry 120,000-200,000 tonnes of dry bulk commodities.
L&T ventured into shipbuilding by converting part of its heavy engineering complex at Hazira into a yard that can build three mid-size ships with a cargo carrying capacity of 15,000-20,000 tonnes in a year. Although the company is now expanding the capacity of the Hazira yard to make six ships a year, it cannot make bigger ships there.