June 26, 2015

GSL looks at S Korean expertise for defence project

In what promises to be a game changer and provide enormous employment opportunities, Goa Shipyard will identify and initiate discussions between South Korean defence and marine ancillary units and Indian, especially Goan firms, chairman and managing director Shekhar Mital said. The collaboration will be aimed towards the building of the 32,000 crore Mine Counter Measure Vessel project, which the Ministry of Defence allotted to Goa Shipyard Limited in early March.

Goa Shipyard will also look to take advantage of South Korea's supply-chain efficiency by sending more orders for pumps, deck machinery and other equipment to South Korean manufacturers instead of European firms which is expected to reduce costs by 15%-20%, Mital stated.

"In a way, we will have to spoon feed, but, we also need to sit down and seriously discuss how we can take this initiative forward," Mital said. Mital was referring to the two-day convention organized by Confederation of Indian Industries for South Korean defence and marine ancillary units that was held at Dona Paula.

The convention was attended by 28 South Korean firms and 60 local industry representatives. Industry heavyweights from South Korea like Samsung Thales, Lignex1, Kangnam Corp as well as head of special projects and engineering systems L&T shipyard SVS Chary, advisor for Pipavav shipyard admiral R M Bhatia were present.

"The biggest success has been that we have been able to bring all stakeholders on a single platform to make this 'Make in Goa' a reality... and there will be a significant tangible benefit," Mital said.

The South Korean delegation will pay a visit to the Vasco-based shipyard's premises to get an overview of the facilities and infrastructure available. Mital cautioned Indian companies from expecting any special concessions or preferences. "There are no freebies. We have to look at our processes and be competitive. We are exposed to where the best of technology is available," he added.

Besides working on the mine-sweeper project, the defence public sector unit has also submitted its bid for the ambitious hovercraft project for the Indian Army.
- timesofindia

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