The decision of the Union Ministry of Defence to augment submarine fleet and place order for indigenous construction of six submarines under ‘Make in India’ campaign provides a good opportunity to Hindustan Shipyard Limited.
HSL, which was brought under MoD in February 2010, has one of the best ecosystems in the world for submarine building with its success in EKM submarine repair, availability of trained contractors with experience in submarine repairs and construction of nuclear powered Arihant submarine at Ship Building Centre. HSL has invested Rs. 50 crore on creation of submarine repair facilities.
The cash-strapped HSL may turn financially strong if it gets order to build the six submarines each costing Rs.10,000 crore. “We have proven our expertise in submarine repairs – which is more complicated than construction. We are confident of constructing all six submarines under P 75 (I) Project and delivering them on time,” HSL Chairman and Managing Director Rear Admiral N.K. Mishra said. The signing of consortium by HSL, BHEL and MIDHANI will further strengthen its claim to get order for submarine construction. The consortium is expected to synergise the manufacturing capabilities of BHEL, material technology of MIDHANI and shipbuilding capability of HSL.
Set up in 1941, HSL was the first Greenfield shipyard in India built by industrialist Walchand Hirachand under the aegis of Scindia Steam Navigation Company. During the World War period, he zeroed in on Visakhapatnam for locating the shipyard foreseeing a bright future for the yard because of its strategic location. Lack of orders pushed HSL, which was under the Ministry of Shipping to a critical situation following which MoD took it over four years ago with the promise of giving orders for Navy on nomination basis. One positive sign is that due to sustained efforts of the workforce and the management, the net loss of HSL is on the decline. From Rs.86 crore in 2011-12, it has come down to Rs. 55 crore in 2012-13 and Rs. 46 crore in 2013-14.
- The hindu