The Pipavav shipyard in Gujarat, owned by the Reliance group headed by Anil Ambani, has emerged as the most important private shipyard for the Indian military in recent times. The shipyard, however, has not been able to meet deadlines, adversely affecting the operational capabilities of the Navy, naval sources say.
The Navy told The Hindu that it would impose penalties on the shipyard if there were delays in delivery of ships and other contract works.
Reliance Defence and Engineering Ltd. (RDEL), which took over Pipavav in early 2016, insists that the shipyard has pulled up after the new management took over and that it is confident of delivering on time.
The shipyard is now engaged in the construction of five naval offshore patrol vessels (NOPV) and maintenance of at least two other naval ships and is bidding for several major contracts. Its engagement with the military significantly outweighs work by any other private Indian shipyard.
n response to a detailed questionnaire, the Navy said there had been a 65% progress on the first two NOPVs and 30% on the other three NOPVs as on February 16. However, this is after a delay of more than two years.
The original contract for the NOPVs was signed in 2011, with the first boat to be delivered by early 2015. According to fresh revised timeline provided to The Hindu by the Navy, the first two NPOVs are scheduled to be launched by May 2017 and delivered by October and December 2017.
The remaining three are expected by November 2017 and delivered by April, June and August 2018.
Despite speculation in the past few years about the possibility of the Navy imposing a financial penalty on the shipyard, there has been no such decision yet.
A Reliance official told The Hindu that the firm had accelerated work since the RDEL took over. Read More…