A two-day convention on ‘Make in Goa’ for defence and marine ancillary industries held in the coastal state recently, its organisers claim, set the stage for the implementation of the Narendra Modi government’s ambitious programme to build twelve mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) at a total cost of Rs 32,000 crore.
While state-run Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) will construct the specialised vessels using foreign technology, a clutch of South Korean ancillary units, which participated in the event by GSL and a local industry body, seemed interested in setting up manufacturing bases in Goa, they said.
Representatives of 28 Korean companies and over 60 local firms in the state participated in the two-day event. India wants to augment its fleet of MCMVs to bolster its navy and South Korean shipbuilders are expected to play a major role in making this a reality.
GSL was recently re- nominated against stiff competition for the construction of 12 MCMVs for the Indian Navy to make up for this long delay and meet the naval requirements, to safeguard the transit of the Indian fleet through narrow harbours. The construction of 12 MCMVs will be undertaken at GSL with transfer of technology (TOT) from a foreign collaborator under the ‘Make in India’ programme. The final specifications for these vessels is being finalized by the Indian Navy, based on which GSL will be floating a global RFP (request for proposal) to identify and acquire TOT from a suitable collaborator, Sekhar Mital, CMD of GSL, told FE.
“Basically, we are taking the agenda forward from ‘Make in India’ to ‘Make in Goa’. Huge opportunities are available in naval shipbuilding. So the idea behind this convention was to understand what the South Korean companies can offer to meet such huge demands,” he said. “Thirty top-notch Korean companies are in Goa to not only offer what they have but to also understand what kind of opportunities are available for them in India,” Mittal said.
“There is an opportunity for not just the navy but the entire maritime sector to ride the cusp of growth in India, particularly in Goa. The idea is that these companies will set up manufacturing bases in Goa and will be able to cater to the requirements of all the shipyards across the country,” he said.
Mital went on to state that the GSL has created a special ‘Make in India’ cell comprising three officers who will facilitate investment procedures and resolve queries regarding MCMVs that the defence public sector unit is looking to build with South Korean collaboration.
The success of the South Korean shipbuilding industry lies in its supply chain. If this supply chain comes to India, it will lead to 15-20% lower costs. While Mital projected that the value of defence shipbuilding in India will multiply to nearly $40 billion over the next three to five years, he urged the government and local stakeholders to overcome the initial glitches.
The Goa-based shipyard is interacting with various international shipyards, including M/s Intermarine of Italy and Kangnam Corporation of South Korea, to obtain information on various designs and technologies to ascertain the latest developments in the field.