Posted on February 15, 2023
The Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCI) is making strategic plans to meet India’s dredging needs of 100 million cubic metres per annum (mcmpa). The dredging is regularly required for ports like Kolkata, Paradeep, Cochin and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra. The reason is that these ports are affected due to seasonal weather conditions, but dredging is not required for Visakhapatnam Port Authority (VPA) as it is a natural port.
The DCI can reach 70-75 mcmpa out of 100 mcmpa required. While 60mcmpa is met with its own nine dredgers, the remaining 10-15 mcmpa is met by outsourced dredgers.
To meet the dredging requirement of the country, DCI has already started its efforts and placed an order for procuring a Beagle Series-12 Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger (TSHD) with a capacity of 12,000 cubic metres at a cost of ₹850 crore. The dredger is under construction at the Cochin Shipyard. The dredger will be first of its kind, with technology and design support from Royal IHC, a Dutch shipbuilding company headquartered in Kinderdijk, Netherlands. As per the plan, the dredger will be handed over to the DCI by the Cochin Shipyard by September 2025. At present, nearly 12-15% of the construction works have been completed, as per the DCI sources. In addition to this, order for two more dredgers of the same capacity will be placed soon.
Speaking to The Hindu, on the sidelines of the inaugural session of the beach nourishment programme at the RK beach here on Monday, DCI Chairman K. Rama Mohan Rao said that the strengthening of DCI’s fleet depends on two main factors – one is to meet India’s dredging need and secondly and to follow the future guidelines of the Director General of Shipping (DGS). According to him, as per the guidelines of the DGS, dredgers of 20 years and more can be deregistered and scrapped. If this happens, DCI will lose two to three dredgers, he added. “DCI currently has nine dredgers with a handling capacity of 59,000 cubic metres per day. So, new dredgers are planned to be acquired,” Mr. Ram Mohan said.
Apart from this, the DCI also requires dredgers for inland water nourishment. Presently, for the first time, DCI has been engaged in inland water recharge in northeastern States, he added.
Speaking about the DCI’s financial status, Mr. Ram Mohan said that DCI has recorded profits to the tune of ₹29 crore in the last quarter, and the present quarter turnover so far was ₹371 crore. “DCI has been profitable now, and will continue on this track henceforth,” he exuded confidence.