Vijaywada: Defence PSU Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) has started the groundwork to bid for and win the submarines contract for Indian Navy. The defence PSU Hindustan Shipyard Ltd and Adani Defence will set up a special purpose vehicle. The Navy had floated EoI to select an Indian shipyard to manufacture six conventional submarines in collaboration with a foreign partner. Adani group had made a surprise entry into the bidders’ list at the last moment despite having no experience at all in the submarine manufacturing. At that time Hindustan Shipyard too had made a standalone bid for the contract. However, the HSL is focused on completing its pending contracts on time, HSL CMD Rear Admiral (Retd) LV Sarat Babu said in an interview given to Times Of India on Monday.
‘HSL has the experience, Adani will add financial muscle’
RAdm Sarat Babu said that the DPSU has decided ‘in principle’ to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with Adani group. “The decision is in principle because it will have to be approved by the Ministry of Defence. Adani group and HSL have not reached a stage to decide on the shareholding in the SPV,” he said. As predicted by many during the bidding, the CMD added that the partnership with Adani is aimed at leveraging HSL’s balance sheet.
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“Adani group will give us the financial muscle to bid for the six submarines. We would be providing the technical expertise,”- Rear Admiral (Retd) LV Sarat Babu, CMD, Hindustan Shipyard Ltd
“Adani group will give us the financial muscle to bid for the six submarines. We would be providing the technical expertise,” said MSL CMD who had put in a standalone bid. On the question of whether HSL had the technical expertise to build a highly sophisticated vessel like a submarine, the CMD said that the DPSU shipyard has a long experience in retrofitting submarines.
‘Retrofitted several submarines from scratch’-HSL
“We have retrofitted several submarines from scratch, so we have the expertise in what goes into its construction. Some of our competitors have expertise in constructing the hull of the submarine. We will be able to source this expertise as well if we win the contract,” he added.
The six submarines are estimated to cost Rs 45,000 crore. Babu said besides its technical expertise, HSL has also developed a workforce which can execute the submarine project.
Meanwhile, as it waits for the MoD to release its request for proposal (RFP) for the project, HSL, which was set up in 1941 by Seth Walchand Hirachand, is focused on completing its remaining projects. “We will be delivering a retrofitted submarine to the Indian Navy on January 31. ahead of schedule. In November, we had delivered two of the last six 10-tonne bollard pull tugs to the Navy two weeks ahead of schedule,” he informed.