Shipbuilding industry needs govt help, Pipavav Shipyard

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Mumbai, Apr 18 (UNI) Pipavav Shipyard has appealed to the Government to take a cue from Korea and China and help the shipbuilding industry to prosper.

Addressing a two-day event ''International Shipbuilding Conference 2008'' in progress at Athens, Pipavav Shipyard CEO Ray Stewart called upon the Indian Government to come out clear on the issue of continuation of the subsidy scheme for the ship building industry that expired in August 2007.

''This is needed in order to encourage other companies to enter the industry and enable a critical mass to be achieved in the country. This would in turn lead to further investment from international and national equipment and material suppliers,'' he said.

''The invitation to represent at the conference in itself is a sign that India has arrived on the world stage and it was a great honour and endorsement for Pipavav Shipyard to be selected. It was a wonderful opportunity to inform such an august audience about our plans and those of our Indian yard colleagues,'' Mr Stewart said.

Pipavav Shipyard is now building the biggest ships in India, a series of Panamax bulk-carriers, which are about 74,500 dwt tons and 225 m long. The Company started production of the first ships in the series in February this year and will deliver its first vessel early next year.

''We are investing in some of the best state-of-the-art equipment that money can buy in order to ensure that shipyard achieves best international practices and productivity levels. Pipavav Shipyard is in advance stages of constructing one of the largest dry-dock in the world measuring 651 m by 65 m and will be building two Panamax vessels at a time in the dock initially but will increase simultaneous production of other ships in due course,'' he said.

He pointed out that the recent major study by KPMG has shown that shipbuilding has one of the highest economic multiplier effects among all industries, especially in employment and investment.

''There has never been a better time for the Indian shipbuilding industry to really take off and become a major world player,'' Mr Stewart said.

UNI AR NM AG1737

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