The Defence Ministry on Tuesday signed a contract with Goa Shipyard Ltd (GSL) for the construction of two pollution control vessels for the Indian Coast Guard at a cost of about Rs 583 crore, officials said. The ships are being procured to significantly augment the capability of the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) to respond to incidents of oil spills at the sea and also boost the force’s pollution response mechanism.
These two vessels are scheduled for delivery by November 2024 and May 2025 respectively. The defence ministry said the “special role ships" will be indigenously designed, developed and built by GSL.
“The acquisition will significantly augment the capability of ICG to respond to oil spill disasters at sea," it said. At present, ICG has three pollution control vessels (PCVs) in its fleet at Mumbai, Visakhapatnam and Porbander to carry out dedicated pollution surveillance, oil spill monitoring and response operations in the Indian exclusive economic zone and islands around it.
“The new PCVs planned are for pollution response requirements in eastern and the ecologically sensitive Andaman and Nicobar regions," the ministry said in a statement. “The vessels, with the capability of operating helicopter on board, will have many advanced features with modern pollution response equipment of niche technology for containing, recovering and dispersing of the marine oil spill," it said.
The ministry said the contract would further boost the indigenous shipbuilding capability and increase employment opportunities in the shipbuilding sector that involves around 200 MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) vendors.