The Mumbai-based yard will bring in technical advancements which will reduce the time taken for construction of a warship as well improve quality. Were going to commence a modular, integrated construction which will save our time and effort in building these warships. We will be able to make them faster and better, said HS Malhi, chairman and managing director, MDL.
So far, the yard has been engaged in traditional shipbuilding, wherein it first makes the outer structure and then fits the equipment. The modernisation process will enable the yard to construct the warship in phases, simultaneously implanting equipment. With this, the yard would be able to deliver a frigate size ship (a kind of warship which has a displacement of about 6,000 tons) in five years, instead of seven now.
Termed Mazdock Modernisation Plan, it will also include creation of facilities like a wet basin, modular workshop for building warships and submarines, heavy duty goliath crane (300T), cradle shops and stores, upgrade of welding stations and extension of slipway, at an investment of R800 crore.
The R1,100 crore defence PSU said that it will fund the modernisation through internal accruals. We have got R600 crore sanctioned from the government for this project. We also might have to raise a small debt. We also have R4,000 crore as cash reserves, said Malhi.
MDL, Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers (GRSE), Goa Shipyard and the newer Hindustan Shipyard in Vizag are the four defence PSUs in the country engaged in the shipbuilding space. Also, Cochin Shipyard is engaged in the construction of a helicopter carrier warship. Pipavav Shipyard is also engaged in naval warship construction.
The company, with a capability of constructing destroyer size warships (which has a displacement of 8,000 tonne), has no plans of going for an initial public offering (IPO).
For the yard mordernisation, MZL is not looking at any corporate or foreign tie-ups. However, to add capacity and to increase project execution, it is open for tie-ups with other yards in the country. In order to enhance our capacity for future projects and accelerate projects, we can tie up with another Indian shipyard. We had also floated an expression of interest for tying up with another shipyard to ensure parallel construction. We are yet to take that ahead, he added. The technology for submarine and warship construction is from DCNS in France.