India’s largest private sector shipbuilder ABG Shipyard Ltd has won a Rs1,460 crore ($360 million) order from Thailand-based dry bulk ship owner and operator Precious Shipping Public Co. Ltd for building 12 ships of 32,000 tonnes each.
“The ships will be built at our new facility coming up at Dahej, Gujarat, and would be delivered to the shipowner from the begining of first quarter of 2010,” said Dhananjay Datar, chief financial officer, ABG Shipyard, the flagship company of the ABG Group. With this deal, ABG Shipyard’s order book has swelled to Rs5,560 crore.
ABG is expanding its shipbuilding capacity to meet the rising orders coming to India from global shipowners as builders in maritime nations such as South Korea, Japan and China decline to entertain orders for building relatively smaller ships. Besides, yards in these countries are fully booked till 2010.
ABG is building new facilities as well as acquiring existing yards to boost capacity. Its yard at Surat in Gujarat can construct 23 ships and is the only Indian yard with indoor facilities to build aluminium vessels. ABG has agreed to buy Vipul Shipyard Ltd, its neighbour at Magdalla Port in Surat, to augment capacity.
The Bombay Stock Exchange-listed firm is also currently building its second shipbuilding facility spread over 40 acres at Dahej in Gujarat with an investment of Rs950 crore. The first phase, costing Rs400 crore, will be able to build eight ships simultaneously with a capacity of up to 0.12 million tonnes (mt) each and is targeted at the fast growing dry bulk segment. It will include two dry docks and is scheduled to start operations in April 2008. The second phase, costing Rs550 crore, will build jack-up rigs used in deep-water oil drilling operations and is expected to start constructing rigs in December 2008 with a capacity to build four rigs at a time.
Earlier this year, ABG had won a Rs1,030.50 crore order from Singapore-based Pacific First Shipping Pte Ltd for building 12 vessels consisting of nine anchor handling tug-cum-supply vessels and three dry bulk carriers of 54,000 tonnes each. The company is also bidding for the Gujarat government-owned shipyard Alcock Ashdown (Gujarat) Ltd, which is being privatized by the state government as part of the disinvestment process. Besides, the firm is also negotiating with a consortium of lenders led by ICICI Bank Ltd to acquire the debt-ridden Western India Shipyard Ltd, India’s largest ship repair facility in the private sector.