Kolkata: Ship-repairing activities will resume in earnest at the dry docks of Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) from August-September this year. Cochin Shipyard, with which KoPT has tied up for ship repairing in Kolkata, is taking necessary steps and port officials in the city are doing their bit to carry out necessary repairs to the two dry docks.

“We have already started work on the hydraulic systems at the dry docks and this should be completed by July. We expect ship repairs to start here by August-September,” KoPT chairman Vinit Kumar said.

KoPT and Cochin Shipyard have signed an agreement to share profits on a 40:60 basis. While KoPT will pitch in with land, Cochin Shipyard will invest nearly Rs 25 crore to start operations. At one time, Kolkata used to be a ship repairing hub and KoPT believes that 16-18 ships can be repaired at the dry docks annually. After 3-4 years, a turnover of nearly Rs 50 crore is expected from ship-repairing activity alone.

“We may not be able to handle very large ships but there is great demand for repairing facilities for smaller vessels that can easily enter the Netaji Subhas Docks (NSD). There are a lot of such ships that operate in this region and there are few facilities that can offer good services. We feel that even foreign companies would send their ships for repairs and maintenance to Kolkata. After all, we did operate the dry docks till 2015 and 10-12 ships were handled annually,” a KoPT official said.

Cochin Shipyard has made major forays into West Bengal’s shipbuilding and ship-repairing scenario. The shipyard recently acquired 76% stake in the Hooghly Dock & Port Engineers Ltd to create the Hooghly Cochin Shipyard Ltd. The shipyard plans to revive shipbuilding and ship repairing activity in a major way at the facilities in Salkia and Nazirgunge in Howrah. The dry docks at NSD will augment its facilities.