A year after the takeover of Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCIL) by four major ports, the fortunes of the Visakhapatnam-headquartered company appears to be improving significantly.
The company, which started earning profits ever since its inception in 1976 to offer dredging services to the port sector, was listed for strategic sale following a stiff competition after the opening of dredging sector to private players and working capital crunch for augmentation of its fleet.
With the support from the Ministry of Shipping, it has started getting orders on nomination basis from the major ports. A consortium of four major ports at Visakhapatnam, Paradip, Deen Dayal (Kandla) and JNPT invested over ₹1,000 crore to acquire 73.47% government equity in the company.
The DCIL bagged maintenance contract from the JNPT at a cost of ₹180 crore and completed project at Bombay Naval Yard on time at ₹60 crore. It also successfully finished projects assigned by Chennai, Tuticorin and Paradip ports. The DCIL also took up beach nourishment project of Visakhapatnam Port Trust (VPT).
Now, dredging work at Haldia port and fishing harbour in Kerala is going on. Sources told The Hindu that the DCIL had emerged as a strong bidder in six upcoming tenders. The Category-I Mini Ratna company is now eyeing overseas business by participating in a bid for a major dredging project at Mongla in Bangladesh, they said.
The DCIL, which clocked a turnover of ₹698 crore in 2018-19 fiscal, is also set to register a marginal rise in its business in 2019-20, when the AGM would approve the annual report.
When contacted, DCIL Managing Director Rajesh Tripathi attributed the performance of the company to the high morale of the workforce. “Even during the pandemic, the employees worked with dedication and commitment to ensure completion of various projects on time,” he said.
Mr. Tripathi said they were planning to improve the existing fleet by acquiring new trailer cutter suction dredgers, barges and other support vessels.
He said they had relocated their headquarters to the new building built by the DCIL at HB Colony of Seethammadhra by occupying two floors and the remaining two floors would be given on lease shortly.