Restructuring package for Hooghly Dock

OUR BUREAUS | Updated on October 16, 2011

The Union Cabinet has approved a rehabilitation-cum-restructuring package for the Hooghly Dock & Port Engineers Ltd, Kolkata, one of the country's oldest shipyards in the private sector, having been established in the year 1819. A private sector player will be selected through an open bidding process to form a joint venture with the shipyard. An amount of Rs 777 crore will be spent on the rehabilitation and restructuring and on such issues as writing off Government of India loans and voluntary retirement schemes. The shipyard, which also has a ship-repair unit in Kidderpore for wet repairs, has built more than 100 vessels for various port trusts, Andaman & Nicobar administration, Indian Navy and ONGC. It has also undertaken repairs of more than 400 vessels.

Regulatory changes may impact business

The regulatory environment in the Indian port sector is undergoing changes with new laws and policy measures being formulated — some of which may entail event-based risks for industry participants. One such instance is The Draft Port Regulatory Authority Bill, 2011, which seeks to bring tariffs and the performance of non-major ports under regulatory purview, said credit rating agency ICRA, in a recent report. Mr Ravichandran, the agency's Senior Vice-President and Co-Head Corporate Sector Ratings, said that the proposals of the Bill, if accepted, could adversely impact the business and financial risk profiles of non-major ports that have hitherto enjoyed high pricing flexibility and operational freedom. This apart, policies relating to regulation of monopoly in the port sector and captive port projects, have also been framed and would have a bearing on the competitive landscape of the Indian port sector, he said in the report.

Shipbuilding and ship repair meet

The Southern Region of Confederation of Indian Industry in association with the Chennai Chapter of the National Maritime Foundation conducted a seminar on the shipbuilding and ship repair industry – Strategies, Human Resources, Infrastructure, Processes and Security – SHIPS 2011 in Kochi last week. Issues such as build strategy; capacity utilisation Productivity enhancement; infrastructure requirements; technological innovation; technology transfer; indigenisation; vendor development and human resource development were discussed.

The conference was inaugurated by Vice-Admiral B. Kannan, Programme Director, ATV Programme, Ministry of Defence. ViceAdmiral (Retd) Pradeep Kaushiva, delivered the Theme address. Mr Paul Antony, Chairman, Cochin Port Trust delivered the keynote address. Mr Manoj Joshi, Secretary (Ports) to Government of Kerala delivered a special address.

A philatelic exhibition on the theme of ship-building in India was held by the renowned philatelist and Chairman of the Naval Philatelic Society, Mr D. Hemachandra Rao, with a release of a special cover and date cancellation from the Naval Base Post Office. Also conducted on the sidelines of the conference was an exposition of maritime equipment and systems.

The conference was conducted over six plenary sessions dedicated to various vital topics pertaining to shipbuilding. A special feature of the conference was the conduct of a colloquium at the end of the plenary sessions, where all participants were divided into four discussion groups, each group capturing the views of all participants and presenting them to the open house.

Published on October 16, 2011

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