There appears to be a race between the ministry of defence-controlled warship builder Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers and Anil Ambaniled Reliance Group to set up a shipyard here.
While the GRSE had evinced interest in setting up a shipyard at Rambilli, Mr Anil Ambani signed a MoU with the state government in January to set up a strategic naval ship building facility in the same region with an investment of Rs 5,000 crore. The government is yet to confirm to which company it will allot land for the greenfield shipyard. Vizag already houses the MoD-controlled Hindustan Shipyard Ltd.
GRSE has a good order book and is in the race to bag prestigious ship and submarine building projects from the Indian Navy. Most significantly GRSE is in the race to grab the project of building India's second aircraft carrier, INS Vishal, which will be built at the Vizag facility if the ship builder gets the order from the MoD.
Mr Anil Ambani's Reliance Defence and Aerospace had only recently entered defence production sector and acquired a 44-per cent stake in Pipavav Defence and Offshore Engineering Company Limited in Gujarat. “While the GRSE had evinced interest in setting up a greenfield warship building centre at Rambilli and approached the state government for it, Reliance had signed a MoU with the government. It is yet to be known who would establish the shipyard at Rambilli," said a senior district official.
GRSE has already conveyed its willingness to participate in the programme for construction of the second indigenous aircraft carrier IAC 2. A greenfield shipyard needs to be established at a deep water location with 14 metres draft to construct the 65,000-tonne ship.
GRSE had identified suitable location at Rambilli near Visakhapatnam and the state government had agreed to provide land with adequate water frontage for establishing the facility. The company's proposal for construction of IAC-2 was accordingly forwarded to Indian Navy. The final decision of Indian Navy on a selection of shipyard is awaited, said a GRSE official.