Marching towards fulfilling the vision of becoming a global shipbuilder, Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE), a Mini Ratna Category 1 Defence PSU and leading warship building company of India, achieved another milestone today by laying the Keel of the ‘Ocean-Going Passenger cum Cargo Vessel’ at Kolkata, a prestigious project under execution for the Co-operative Republic of Guyana.
The Keel laying ceremony of the Ocean-Going Vessel was conducted in the august presence of Captain Stephen Thomas, Director General, Maritime Administration Department, Mrs. Ronalda Edwards-Horatio, Charge’ D’ Affaires, A.I., Guyana High Commission, India, Rear Admiral VK Saxena, IN(Retd.), Chairman & Managing Director, GRSE, Directors of GRSE and other Senior Officials of GRSE and Transport & Harbour Department, Guyana.
The 70 m long vessel with a displacement of 1700 Tonnes is propelled by two diesel Engines and Twin Disc Gear Boxes to achieve a maximum speed of 15 Knots. The ship has been fully designed by the GRSE design teams and can accommodate 294 passengers (including 14 crew members) along with 14 cars, 02 trucks, and 14 containers & cargo and is planned to operate in the coastal and riverine area of Northwest District of Guyana.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Guest Captain Stephen Thomas, Director General, Maritime Administration Department, expressed satisfaction over the progress of the project and said, “This project is a distinct enterprise for the Government of Guyana designed to provide smart transportation of passengers and cargo. Catering to the needs of our people, the vessel will prove to be an efficient mode of transport for the passengers and cargo movement in Guyana. This cooperation with India’s leading shipbuilder GRSE, highlights our stable and long-term relationship with India.”
Highlighting the importance of achieving this major ‘Keel laying’ milestone amidst these challenging times, Rear Admiral VK Saxena, IN (Retd), Chairman & MD, GRSE stated, “The Ocean-going Passenger cum Cargo Ferry Vessel project provided GRSE with an opportunity to leverage our expertise in design and ship construction and showcase our shipbuilding prowess in the global arena. The success of this project stands dedicated to the untiring efforts of Team GRSE and synergy among all stakeholders despite of the ongoing pandemic. This vessel aims to create a new benchmark in the field of passenger and cargo movement in Guyana. This project is a harbinger for more cooperation between our friendly nations in the maritime domain in near future. GRSE is proud to contribute towards friendly bilateral relations between the two nations.”
Earlier this year, GRSE and Transport and Harbours Department (T&HD), Government of Guyana signed the contract for the construction of the Ocean-Going Vessel. The Shipyard bagged this prestigious contract through competitive bidding. The design has been accomplished by the in-house design team of GRSE and incorporates enhanced safety and operational features. With its emphasis on export and realigning marketing strategies to match the dynamic global environment, the shipyard is building six patrol crafts for Bangladesh apart from this ship for Republic of Guyana. In pursuit of indigenization and Self-reliance in Shipbuilding, GRSE is currently executing six shipbuilding projects including three Advanced Frigates under Project 17A, four Survey Vessels (Large) & eight Anti-Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts for the Indian Navy and one Fast Patrol Vessel for the Indian Coast Guard.
The journey of Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd., a premier Warship building Company in India, under the administrative control of Ministry of Defence, a PCMM Level-2 Certified Company and 40th rank in Fortune India Next 500 Company 2021, dates back to 1884. The Company was taken over by the Government of India in 1960. First shipyard of independent India to build a Seaward Defence Boat (SDB) INS Ajay for Indian Navy in 1961, GRSE also built the first ever Indian Export Warship “CGS Barracuda”. The shipyard was conferred the status of a Miniratna Category I Company in 2006. Over last 61 years, GRSE has built 788 platforms including 107 warships for Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, and Government of Mauritius & Seychelles Coast Guard – highest warships built & delivered by any Indian shipyard till date. From Frigates, Corvettes, Fleet Tankers, Landing Ship Tank, Landing Craft Utility to Survey Vessels, Offshore Patrol Vessels and Fast Attack Craft – the repertoire is rich and varied. In addition to ship building, GRSE is also engaged in engine production and other engineering activities. The engineering division manufactures deck machinery items, pre-fabricated portable steel bridges and marine pumps. Noteworthy accolades include Defence Minister’s Award for Excellence for In-house Design Effort for Offshore Patrol Vessel for Government of Mauritius, CGS Barracuda, Best Performing Defence Shipyard of India for Four Years in a row. GRSE embraced infrastructure modernization over past decades and delightful impact was perceived in the concurrent construction of 20 ships at a time. Team of highly skilled design engineers and state of art VR Lab & latest software cater to the in-house design capabilities. With proven credentials, the shipyard is on a growth path, reaffirming its motto “In Pursuit of Excellence and Quality in Ship building.