Cochin: Government owned Cochin Shipyard has become the second Indian shipbuilder to seal a transfer of technology deal with a South Korean shipyard for constructing liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers.
The collaboration deal, struck with Samsung Heavy Industries, clears the decks for Cochin Shipyard to put in a bid for a revised GAIL India Ltd tender, likely to be issued in April, for the construction of three LNG carriers at an Indian yard.
The three domestically built LNG vessels are to be part of a total of nine such ships that the Indian state-run gas importer and marketer requires to haul gas from the US to India from September 2017 onwards. GAIL had originally issued a global tender on August 1 last year, and extended it thrice before finally scrapping it on February 17 this year.
Splash had reported on February 6 that L&T Shipbuilding, a subsidiary of Mumbai-based engineering colossus Larsen & Toubro, had been in talks with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries Co to acquire the sophisticated technology needed to build LNG carriers in India.
It is almost certain that L&T Shipbuilding’s deal with Hyundai Heavy has fructified, though confirmation could not be obtained due to a non-disclosure agreement signed by the Indian shipyard.
The two collaboration agreements have come in the wake of some judicious lobbying in South Korea by India’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, during her trip to Seoul in December last year.