Kochi gears up as shipbuilding hub as PM set to dedicate new projects

Kochi: Kerala’s port city of Kochi is set to become a bustling hub for ship repair and shipbuilding as Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates projects worth Rs 4000 crore, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said here on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press meet ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Kerala, the Minister for Ports, Shipping, and Waterways highlighted three significant projects.

These include the New Dry Dock (NOD), the International Ship Repair Facility (ISRF) of Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL), and the LPG Import Terminal of Indian Oil Corporation Limited.

While the focus is on development, this visit also includes the inauguration of key shipping projects and participation in the wedding ceremony of actor-politician Suresh Gopi’s daughter. The Rs 4,000-crore projects encompass a new dry dock and an international ship repair facility at the Cochin Shipyard (CSL) and the LPG Import Terminal of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) at Puthuvype in Kochi, promising economic growth and job creation.

The international ship repair facility (ISRF) at Willington Island, constructed at a cost of Rs 970 crore, boasts advanced features like a ship lift system with a 6,000-tonne capacity, a transfer system, six workstations, and a 1,400m berth capable of accommodating seven vessels simultaneously.

PM Modi will dedicate CSL’s new dry dock, an impressive 310-metre-long stepped structure with a width of 75m, depth of 13m, and a draught of up to 9.5m. Priced at around Rs 1,800 crore, it positions India with advanced capabilities to handle strategic assets such as future aircraft carriers and large commercial vessels.

The IOCL’s LPG Import Terminal at Puthuvype, built at an estimated cost of Rs 1,236 crore, features state-of-the-art facilities, including a 15,400-tonne storage capacity, ensuring a steady supply of LPG for households and businesses in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

PM Modi, arriving in Kochi on Tuesday evening, is set to conduct a roadshow from Maharajas College to the government guest house, reinforcing the message of development under his leadership. The visit underscores the BJP’s intent to overcome challenges in Kerala and establish a strong political presence in the state.

The PM will return to Kochi on January 17 after attending a wedding in Guruvayoor. During this visit, he will also convene a party meeting with approximately 6,000 in-charges of ‘shakti kendras,’ each comprising two to three booth-level areas. This second visit in a span of 12 days is viewed with high significance as the state gears up for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.