Hindustan Shipyard Ltd (HSL) is laying the ground to bid for and win the contract to build at least six submarines for Indian Navy, in partnership with Adani group, even as it is focused on completing its pending contracts on time, HSL chairman and managing director Rear Admiral LV Sarat Babu (Retd) said on Monday.
Speaking to TOI from Visakhapatnam, Sarat Babu said HSL has decided ‘in principle’ to set up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) with the Adani group. “The decision is in principle because it will have to be approved by the ministry of defence (MoD). Adani group and HSL have not reached a stage to decide on the shareholding in the SPV,” he said, while adding that the partnership is aimed at leveraging its balance sheet.
“Adani group will give us the financial muscle to bid for the six submarines. We would be providing the technical expertise,” he said. Asked whether HSL had the technical expertise to build a highly sophisticated vessel like a submarine, Sarat Babu said the shipyard has a long experience in retrofitting submarines. “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 50,000 crore. Sarat 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 meeting its other deadlines. “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.