Wednesday, August 10th, 2022 02:14:37

“GSL is setting new benchmarks in the Indian Shipbuilding industry”

Updated: May 2, 2022 9:56 am

“In line with the “Make in India” initiative of the Government of India, GSL was nominated for indigenous construction of two guided-missile frigates P-11356 for the Indian Navy, towards which the contract was signed between MoD and GSL on 25 January 2019.The production activities were commenced with plate-cutting ceremony on 21 September 2020 and subsequently keel-laying of the first vessel, Yard 1258, was held on 29 January 2021 and the second vessel, Yard 1259, was held on 18 June 2021,” said CMD, GSL, Cmde B B Nagpal, NM, IN (Retd), in an interview to Ashok Kumar. Excerpts:

 

Beginning as a small barge building yard, GSL has garnered reputation as one of the most sophisticated shipbuilders in the country. Where does the company stand in the global shipbuilding industry and what are the major achievements?

Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL) has seen significant growth in recent years. Among major shipbuilding efforts, the Shipyard has delivered three NOPVs to the Indian Navy and 10 AOPVs to the Indian Coast Guard. In terms of exports, the Yard has delivered more than 35 vessels to foreign countries since its inception. In the recent past, two FPVs and 11 interceptor boats were delivered to Mauritius, two AOPVs to Sri Lanka and one damage control simulator to Myanmar.

Importantly, GSL is setting new benchmarks in the Indian Shipbuilding industry by consistently delivering each and every Vessel ahead of contractual delivery schedule. GSL has a strong in-house design team that leads our indigenization efforts aligned with the Government of India’s Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan. GSL is among the fastest growing shipyards of the country with an expanding product portfolio covering both domestic and international markets, and with growing capability and expertise to build weapon-intensive platforms.

Thanks to a sustained momentum of growth, the financial year 2020-21 saw GSL’s Net worth touching an all-time high of Rs 1098 Cr. In spite of the disruptions from the pandemic, GSL has done exceedingly well in its production activities by delivering two AOPVs to the Coast Guard ahead of delivery schedule. The Yard also commenced the construction of the prestigious Advanced Missile Frigate Project within two years of contract signing despite pandemic disruptions. The execution of this project will see the Yard witnessing a Value of Production close to Rs. 3000 Cr by 2023.

 

One of the five offshore patrol vessels (OPV) being built by GSL has been commissioned into the Indian Coast Guard in October. Could you talk about the ongoing defence projects at GSL?

In keeping with the track record of timely deliveries without any cost overrun, GSL has executed the 05 OPV project for the Indian Coast Guard. All five Vessels under this project have now been handed over to the Coast Guard between 2020 and 2022 before time.

In line with the “Make in India” initiative of the Government of India, GSL was nominated for indigenous construction of two Guided Missile Frigates P-11356 for the Indian Navy, towards which the contract was signed between MoD and GSL on 25 January 2019.The production activities were commenced with plate-cutting ceremony on 21 September 2020 and subsequently keel-laying of the first vessel, Yard 1258, was held on 29 January 2021 and the second vessel, Yard 1259, was held on 18 June 2021.

Opening up an entirely new line of business, GSL has bagged the order for construction of two Pollution Control Vessels for the Indian Coast Guard. GSL signed the contract with Ministry of Defence on 22 Jun 2021.  This prestigious contract, was bagged by GSL through competitive bidding which was participated both by public as well as private shipyards. With the signing of this contract, GSL will commence a new product line related to vessels designed for the exclusive role of pollution control and response. The project is presently in Design Stage and will commence construction by Feb 2022.

GSL has also emerged L1 for 08 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Coast Guard. Contract signing for the same is expected in the near future. GSL has also diversified revenue streams unlocking new shipbuilding including with Indian Army. In Jan 2021, GSL won a contract with the Indian Army for 12 specialized Patrol Boats on a competitive basis. GSL is also expanding its refit business having completed 30 refits in last two years.

The New Version 105M Advanced Offshore Patrol Vessel (AOPV) is the latest from GSL’s stable of Offshore Patrol Vessel designs in the service of Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. What are features of the vessels?

Entirely designed in-house in GSL, these AOPVs form a formidable part of the Indian Coast Guard Fleet and has proven to be a versatile platform to carry out various operational needs, including the protection of Exclusive Economic Zone. These vessels are fitted with the most modern and technologically advanced machinery and computerized controls systems, making them the most advanced Patrol Vessels in service with the Indian Coast Guard. These 2400 tonnes vessels are equipped with features like Quick Response Boats for rescue and anti-piracy operations, gunnery simulators and many more advanced features. The hull provides for fuel efficiency, crew comfort and excellent sea keeping qualities. Through concerted efforts between the Yard, industry and the Indian Coast Guard, the indigenous content has grown reaching 72% for the ongoing OPV Project.

Could you talk about the export operations of GSL?

GSL has made significant inroads into global market with the export of smaller vessels to Middle East, Africa and South East Asia and presently recognized as the largest exporter of Defence Vessels in the Indian Subcontinent. The recent exports include 11 FIBs and 02 FPVs to Mauritius, 01 OPV to Sri Lanka and Damage Control Simulator to Myanmar with all deliveries before contracted schedule. A few future projects are also in advanced stages of finalisation.

 

GSL is one of the top players in global marketplace for Fast Attack Craft (FAC) and Amphibious Landing Craft and has been developing several new generation products in the category. Could you talk more about the operations and business?

As part of GSL’s modernization drive, the Shipyard is presently equipped with the State of the Art GRP Manufacturing Facility which is one of a kind in Asia. This facility has been set up for construction of Mine Counter Measure Vessels for the Indian Navy. Until the finalization of this project, this facility is being utilized for construction of Advanced GRP crafts for Defence Forces. The Shipyard has bagged an order for construction of 12 Advanced Fast Patrol Boats for the Indian Army. These boats are specifically designed for operation at high altitudes and at very high speeds. The first Boat has already been delivered and the balance are at advanced stages of construction.

GSL also has in-house designs for Fast Interceptor Crafts of various lengths and tonnages. Recently one 15 Mtr FICB has been constructed for the Indian Navy. This Craft is also being converted into Unmanned Vessel through a joint collaboration between GSL, Indian Navy and Bharat Electronics Ltd.

Considering a huge market for small patrol and interceptor crafts, especially in the South East Asian and African region, GSL sees a huge opportunity ahead of it in this domain.

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