January 28, 2007
India's L&T lays keel of first ship
India's largest engineering and construction conglomerate, Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T) has laid the keel for its first ship within just 17 weeks of commencing operations at its shipbuilding yard at Hazira, near Surat.
A 180-tonne keel block--the heaviest ever by an Indian Shipyard--was ceremonially placed on the erection bay at the company's Hazira Shipyard.
The keel block lowering was performed by Mr. Meindert Van Genderen, director of the yard's first customer: Rolldock, Netherlands.
Mr. A M Naik, Chairman & Managing Director of L&T, said that shipbuilding represented a major thrust area for the company.
Detailed expansion plans for the Hazira Shipyard involve expanding capacity to construct eight vessels up to 20,000 dwt per annum. L&T also plans to "set up large shipyards of international standards in India."
L&T entered the shipbuilding market in April 2006 by securing an order from the Netherlands-based Rolldock (earlier Zadeko Ship Management) for four heavy lift semi-submersible cargo ships, described as RORO/LOLO Semi Submersible vessels. Already, over 900 tonnes of steel fabrication have been completed on a fast track schedule.
The 8,250 dwt , ice-classed vessels have dimensions of 140 m loa x 24 m beam x 5.6 m draft, and will have a cargo hold of 115 m x 19 m, suitable for carrying vessels of up to 7,000 tonnes using the float on/float off capanility and for lifts up to 5,000 tonnes with the ro-ro method.
There will also be two cranes with a tandem lift capacity of 700 tonnes.