Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders can bid for Rs 40k cr submarine contract

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Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders can bid for Rs 40k cr submarine contractPublic sector Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Ltd’s Rs 40,000 crore bid for a contract to build submarines has received the green light from the government and it is confident it is best suited to win over its private sector competitors that have been vying for the mega 'Make in India' project.

MDL, which is set to float an IPO by the end of this month to raise Rs 600 crore, believes its track record and experience of building the Scorpene class submarines for the Navy gives it an edge over competitors. The main rival for the PSU is likely to be Larsen and Toubro, which also has experience in submarine building as they were closely associated with the Arihant Indian nuclear submarine project.

Last week, the defence ministry gave the Navy the go ahead to initiate the procurement process but did not announce if the public sector would also be invited. MDL has now confirmed that it bid for the contract and three potential foreign collaborators have already visited the yard for preliminary talks.

“We will have an edge over anyone else, including the private sector, with the virtue of experience. We are totally geared up and have a proven track record with the Scorpene production,” MDL’s CMD Commodore Rakesh Anand (retd) told ET.

The official said MDL has been approved to participate in the Strategic Partnership (SP) model, which is the cornerstone of the government’s Make in India policy for the defence sector. The model was initially aimed at creating private sector capacity in defence manufacturing, but the government has not been able to ignore public sector units that have been pressing to be included. “We are on board the SP model. Three of the potential (foreign) partners have seen the facilties we have and are on board with us. As and when the tenders are issued, we will take a call as to who among them is the best suited for collaboration,” Anand said.