Mumbai: The Indian Government confirmed at last week's Indian Shipping Summit that it plans to facilitate the building of two VLCC-capable shipyards in the country, one each on the west and east coasts, at a total cost of around $1.6bn. 'We will invite bids from private local and overseas companies,' said A.K. Mohapatra, Shipping Secretary with the Government of India. 'The government sees shipbuilding as an important activity and would like to encourage it,' he added, the government reportedly being willing to fund 20% of start-up costs. Mumbai Port Trust has been appointed to manage the Expressions of Interest process from potential contractors for a west coast yard, while Ennore Port will play a similar role for a proposed east coast yard. The yards are expected to be in operation within three years of contract awards. [16/10/06]
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