A major accident involving collapse of a 250 tons capacity Goliath Crane at the Public Sector Garden Reach Shipbuilder & Engineers (GRSE) at Kolkata has completely damaged the hull shop thereby putting to risk the ongoing P 17 A program to built seven stealth frigates.
The P17A warships are India’s most advanced and stealthy frigates. Three out of the seven ships are being built at GRSE and remaining at at Mazagon Dock Limited, Mumbai (MDL) for the Indian Navy.
Sources said the accident happened on 17 April 2018 but was kept under the wraps by the management. It involved collapse of one goliath crane of 250 ton capacity, 47 meter lift covering the Module Hall, Dry Dock and inclined berth at GRSE.
This accident would cast a direct impact on P 17 A Program. Large store adjoining the Building Berth has been severely damaged and is now unusable, further impacting the work at the Shipyard.
To add to the above, new goliath cranes have a time period of 30 months from issue of tender to installation and commissioning.
The Project 17A-class frigate is a follow-on of the Project 17 Shivalik-class frigate for the Indian Navy.
The construction of the first ship started in 2017 and the first ship is expected to delivered by 2022. The anticipated cost for each vessel is above ₹4,000 crore(US$613 million) and the total deal is expected to be worth more than ₹6,400 crore(US$980 million).
Not only has the crane got damaged beyond repair, sources said that it has to be written off. This, they added has resulted in blocking of Dry Dock and Building Berth Gates. Each of these weighs about 170 ton and can be lifted only by 250 ton crane.
The Module Hall where P 17 A block were being fabricated has been totally destroyed and has become unusable.
Thus not only the ongoing programs will suffer but this may also impact the contract under negotiation with the MoD for Anti Submarine Warfare Shallow Water Crafts.
An internal enquiry is under way to establish the cause of accident and establish responsibility.