The passenger ships will be suitable for all-weather operations
Steel was cut at the Cochin Shipyard on Tuesday for the construction of two passenger vessels, each with a capacity to carry 1,200 passengers and 1,000 tonne cargo, for the Andaman and Nicobar administration.
Pon Radhakrishnan, Union Minister of State for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways, cut the steel plates for the ships, marking the physical construction process of the vessels.
The vessels, with electric propulsion system, will be suitable for all-weather operations between the mainland the A&N Islands and are designed for operation as Class III special trade passenger ships on international voyage. Provided with “Safe Return to Port” notation, with adequate redundancy for the vessel to reach the nearest designated port in the event of an exigency, the basic design of the vessels are by the Kochi-based ship design firm, Smart Engineering and Design Solutions (SEDS) in collaboration with the Denmark-based Knud E Hansen. The ships have been model-tested at Marin in the Netherlands.
Make in India scheme
The yard is already building two passenger-cum-cargo ships for the A&N administration with carrying capacities of 500 passengers and 150 tonne cargo each. Madhu S. Nair, chairman and managing director of the yard, said the ships were being made under the Make in India scheme. N.K. Premachandran, MP, representing the Shipyard Employees’ Union, commended the Centre for awarding the contract for the first-of-their-kind ships to the Cochin Shipyard. The yard completed construction of 20 Fast Patrol Vessels for the Coast Guard in the last financial year, with the last in the series being delivered three months ahead of schedule.
The yard delivered a Deck Cargo/Jacket Launch Barge to the National Petroleum Construction Company, Abu Dhabi, in the current fiscal. Besides, construction of INS Vikrant, the first indigenous aircraft carrier for the Navy, is progressing well at the yard.