Home Investments Norwegian firm eager to invest in maritime cluster- The New Indian Express

Norwegian firm eager to invest in maritime cluster- The New Indian Express

by Ozva Admin

By express news service

KOCHI: Asko Maritime, the Norwegian company that promotes zero-emission shipping and sustainable logistics, has shown interest in cooperating with the Kerala government to develop a maritime cluster in Kochi. ASKO Maritime CEO Kai Just Olsen expressed his willingness to partner with the project during an interaction with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is currently visiting Norway.

Pinarayi said that the state government is taking steps to develop Kochi as a maritime hub. He said that the government is willing to implement green projects that will help reduce carbon emissions. Cochin Shipyard had delivered two autonomous electric barges to ASKO Maritime in July. These were the world’s first fully automatic electric barges and ASKO Maritime provided the basic design and battery for the barges.

Pinarayi said that Kerala will consider purchasing the same barges for transportation through the national waterways. The CM visited the ASKO Maritime office in Horten and saw the two barges built by Cochin Shipyard. Industries Minister P Rajeeve, Chief Secretary VP Joy, Cochin Shipyard Chief General Manager Rajesh Gopalakrishnan and General Manager Deepu Surendran were with the CM.

Cochin University’s ship technology department had organized a seminar in June on Kochi’s development as a maritime center of excellence. However, the project report has not been developed. “A cluster in Kochi will help integrate all maritime activities in one place. The presence of Cochin Shipyard is a great advantage for Kochi and we are able to launch a shipbuilding yard for smaller vessels. Ship repair and ship breaking are other sectors we can focus on. After the commissioning of Vizhinjam port, we can launch the coastal shipping service for the transportation of cargo brought in by mother ships,” Kerala Maritime Board Chairman NS Pillai said.

“In addition to ship building and repair, we can promote coastal shipping in a big way. Another sector is marine education. Our students depend on Mumbai and foreign universities for marine engineering courses. We can make Kochi a hub for such courses,” said Kerala Maritime Board CEO TP Salim Kumar.

Welcoming the decision to develop a maritime cluster in Kochi, Philip Mathew, CMD of LOTS Shipping Ltd, said that it will help the development of coastal shipping in Kerala. “We presented a proposal to the Union government 10 years ago to develop six maritime clusters along the country’s coast. It will help provide logistical support to the industry. Although the state government offered a subsidy for coastal transportation, three service providers that launched coastal transportation had to withdraw. The government should do a study on the reasons for the failure of the project and rectify it,” he said.

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