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Gujarat shipbuilding industry facing challenges

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AHMEDABAD : The shipbuilding industry in Gujarat, which witnessed high profits about a decade ago, is in troubled waters these days. Of the seven shipbuilding yards in the state, three major ones — ABG Shipyard at Dahej and Hazira, and the Reliance Naval Shipyard at Pipavav — have already shut for a decade.

Mehul Patel, the Director of Bhavnagar-based Modest Infrastructure Ltd, said, “Gujarat has good infrastructures and capacities for shipbuilding, but the industry faced several challenges in the last decade.

Our ship repair business is better now, and the repair facility is running at around 70% of its capacity. ”

He said that the ‘Make in India’ campaign has created backward value chains for the shipbuilding industry.

“India did not have ship grade steel manufacturing a decade ago but now the country has its manufacturing facilities.

Our ships are still around 15-20% costlier than of China’s but increasing demand will make us competitive in near future,” he said. “Despite the best infrastructure for shipbuilding, including panel-line assembly and Goliath cranes with high lifting capacity, Pipavav’s shipbuilding yard failed to succeed in production.

On the other hand, ABG Shipyard’s Hazira and Dahej facilities went into trouble due to recession,” said an industry source.

The state is currently home to four shipyards — Modest Infrastructure Ltd (Bhavnagar), Shoft Shipyard Ltd (Bharuch), L&T Ltd (Hazira) and Wadia Boat Builders (Navsari).

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