GRSE’s Exports to Reach New Pinnacle
Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd. (GRSE), India’s premier public sector shipbuilding company since 1960, began the New Year on a grand note as the company bagged two back-to-back exports orders from the governments of Guyana and Seychelles for an Ocean-Going Cargo-cum-Passenger Vessel and a Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) respectively. “With the successful delivery of these two vessels, our export initiatives will touch a new pinnacle. We are well on our way to become a global maritime security player as these export contracts would help open new avenues in value creation,” said Rear Admiral Vipin Kumar Saxena, IN (Retd.), Chairman and Managing Director, GRSE. In an interview with Aeromag, he shares the insights into the company’s prowess as a world class shipbuilder capable of delivering state of the art maritime platforms across the globe.
Could you talk about the twin export orders that GRSE has bagged this year?
For GRSE, the year began on a grand note as the company bagged two back-to-back exports orders from the governments of Guyana and Seychelles. The first export contract of the year worth 12.7 million USD was signed on 13 January for building an Ocean-Going Cargo-cum-Passenger Vessel for the Government of Guyana. The 1700 tons (appx) vessel is to be used on the coastal and riverine areas of Guyana.
Within a month of signing the contract with Government of Guyana, we were successful in signing another export contract with the Government of Seychelles for one Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) on 3 February. The SCG Ship ‘Zoroaster’, will be delivered to Coast Guard of Seychelles, the archipelagic island country. The ship will be a powerful, fuel-efficient platform designed to perform multipurpose operations, such as patrolling, anti-smuggling, anti-poaching, and search and rescue (SAR) while flaunting improved habitability features with fully air-conditioned modular accommodation for 35 personnel.
Our in-house design team has developed the overall design of the FPV. The FPVs are very versatile and cost effective platforms that can be put to excellent use by the small maritime nations especially in the IOR and MENA regions.
What significance do these export contracts hold for GRSE?
GRSE is already endowed with the confidence of Govt. of India, the Indian Navy and the Indian Coast Guard having successfully built and delivered more than 100 Warships ranging from Patrol boats to Corvettes & Frigates. We immensely value the trust that they have bestowed upon us and now we are well on our way to become a global maritime security player as these export contracts would help open new avenues in value creation. GRSE has happily embraced infrastructure modernisation with technology induction and I am proud to share that our indigenous and state-of-the-art ship-design and ship-building capacity are the key behind the monumental success of brand GRSE.
We have the capability to construct 20 ships concurrently, using our modernized infrastructure and ‘Modular Integrated Construction Philosophy’. Further, our dedicated, multi-disciplinary, strong Design Team is continuously working towards developing various concept designs for ships that can cater to the current and future requirements of India as well as foreign nations. As you may be aware GRSE was the first shipyard of India to have exported a warship when we delivered a Multi Role Offshore Patrol Vessel to Mauritius, the CGS Barracuda. With the successful delivery of these two vessels, our export initiatives will reach a new pinnacle.
Moreover, the contracts, while strengthening diplomatic ties of Government of India with Governments of Guyana and Seychelles, celebrates the partnership with these nations, and is a grand achievement, not only for GRSE, but also for the entire nation.
What according to you helped GRSE bag these contracts?
I dedicate the contracts to the remarkable performance of the shipyard over the last few decades that were made possible by farsighted planning, meticulous execution, courageous decisions and conviction and dedication of the Team GRSE. Special credit goes to our in-house design team who has over the years developed capability of building world-class warships deftly armed with high-tech infrastructure. Over the last six decades, we have built 787 platforms, including 106 warships for Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and Mauritius Coast Guard. This has helped GRSE attain the delightful epithet of ‘only organization to build and deliver a century of warships in India’. From building 5 tonne boats to 24600 tonne Fleet Tanker, GRSE has done it all and has proved its mettle as a pioneer warship builder of India.
What is the way forward for GRSE and what are the expansion plans?
Today, GRSE has crafted a niche in the field of in-house design and shipbuilding and has made significant contributions to the indigenous warship construction program in India. Indigenization has always been the watchword at GRSE and it has established its capabilities for in-house ship design and shipbuilding, across its three distinct shipbuilding units in Kolkata. This perfectly aligns with the Government of India's ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan’. The 100+ strong, dedicated and multi-disciplinary design team of the company relentlessly works towards developing innovative concept and designs for ships that impeccably cater to the current and future requirement of Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard. The company is now well on track to construct state-of-the-art warships harnessing advanced modular shipbuilding technology which is delightfully at par with the best in the world
One another significant step towards Self-reliance, Modernisation and capacity augmentation at the Rajabaghan Dockyard unit dedicated for medium and small ships construction will facilitate concurrent construction of 24 ships from the existing capacity of 20.
At GRSE we are constantly striving to shift to smart manufacturing (Industry 4.0), with sparked innovations in automation, robotics and the industrial internet of things. I am confident that by introducing Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Interoperability and secured connectivity enabling real time monitoring, control and optimization of processes, resources and systems will lead to significant workload consolidation across all spheres of operation.
We are also focusing on making the GRSE built versatile maritime platforms available to our friendly foreign Navies and Coast Guards. We look forward to collaboration with local shipbuilders and design houses in friendly nations towards building collective Maritime competence in the region.