HSL to build 5 Navy fleet support ships from 2017
The Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) is gearing up to build five fleet support ships (FSS) awarded on a nomination basis from the Indian Navy by the end of next year. According to top officials of HSL, the defence ministry has given the go-ahead to HSL for the project, which is estimated to cost around Rs 10,000 crore. At the same time, HSL, which had successfully retrofitted INS Sindhukirti, is now expected to also begin normal refit of INS Sindhuvir from January 2017.
Having faced financial troubles due to the lack of orders from the ministry of defence until recently, the shipyard is expected to bounce back into profits by the end of the 2017-18 fiscal.
Confirming to TOI about the fleet support ships, HSL chairman and managing director LV Sarat Babu said, “We have already got on a nomination the go-ahead for five FSS and it will start from the end of next year.”
“The total anticipated order book for HSL is expected to go to Rs 20,000 crore by the year-end, but the commencement of cash will start by the end of 2017 or early 2018,” the CMD said.
Stating that the FSS is one of the major projects for HSL, he said that the focus will be on providing the ships to the Indian Navy on time and with high quality.
He also mentioned that INS Sindhuvir, which is a Sindhughosh-class diesel-electric submarine of the Indian Navy, will undergo normal repairs for a period of two years at HSL. According to sources, the normal repairs are as per initial estimations expected to be around Rs 400 crore. HSL is also looking at SOVs (Strategic Operation Vessels) and landing platform docks (LPDs) to boost its ship and submarine building operations.
Meanwhile, HSL’s partnership with South Korea-based Hyundai Heavy Industries is also expected to provide a major push towards upgradation of the shipyard. HSL officials said that discussions were held last week and with the tie-up going on at the government to government level and also at the shipyard level is likely to be wrapped in another two to three months.
With the tie-up between Hyundai and HSL, transfer of technology, upgradation of shipyard and joint construction at the HSL’s yard in India is expected to kick off. HSL has already tied up with BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited) and Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited (MIDHANI) to ramp up its profile in order to bag major orders from the Indian Navy.