Islamabad - India has set out its shipbuilding ambitions with a clear aim to deny Pakistan fruits of its mega shipyard project at Gwadar, sources said on Thursday.

Although New Delhi has yet to unveil the sketch of its shipbuilding plan, it has started a new 310m long dry-dock facility at state-run Cochin Shipyard.

According to media reports India’s shipping minister Nitin Gadkari set out some shipbuilding goals for the country while attending the groundbreaking ceremony of the new 310 meter long dry-dock at state-run Cochin Shipyard.

The groundbreaking held a few days ago, the new dry dock at Cochin schedule to open in 2021 is expected to increase India in the global market share of 0.66 per cent to 2 percent. Interestingly, India has 25 commercial shipbuilding yards and more than 30 dry docks but majority of them are in sorry state.

On the other hand, Pakistan is working on plans to establish a new shipyard at Gwadar with the capacity to build very large and ultra large crude carriers (ULCC).

The plan also includes dry docking facilities for repairing and maintenance of commercial ships including oil and gas tankers.

The plan also includes dry docking facilities for repairing and maintenance of commercial ships including oil and gas tankers.

Gwadar shipyard would initially offer ship repair and maintenance services at two dry docks with the capacity to handle 600,000 DWT (deadweight tonnage).

Gwadar facility would eventually lead to shipbuilding with capacity of constructing up to VLCC and ULCC.

At present, Pakistan has lone operational facility the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) is the lone facility available in Pakistan for shipbuilding, maintenance and repair work.

But this facility is largely catering to the needs of Pakistan Navy whose responsibilities have increased to meet the defence needs of the country in the wake of multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that connects the deep sea Gwadar port with China.

The government is also upgrading the facilities at the KSEW by enhancing its capacity by installing Syncrolift ship-lift-and-transfer system.

Nevertheless, this facility would remain dedicated to meet the future needs of Pakistan Navy.

Experts say that India at this point of time has no comparison to Pakistan in terms of its shipbuilding and dry-docking facilities.

They were of the Gwadar shipyard would become a very viable commercial venture because of the lack of adequate shipbuilding facilities in the region.

Iran, which operates the largest commercial shipping fleet, has also developed basic know how, yet it will take a long time to become a viable shipbuilding nation.

None of the Gulf Arab countries have a proper shipbuilding facility except offering limited dry docking facilities including Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (ASRY) in Bahrain and in the UAE.

Since these are very limited facility for repair and maintenance, most of the commercial ships move to Singapore for this service.

Analysts are of the view that Gwadar shipyard because of its close proximity to the Persian Gulf through which nearly 38 per cent of the world’s precious goods largely oil and gas are carried, could attract many commercial vessels looking for maintenance and repair works.