The first of the two 1200 persons, 1000 tonne passenger cum cargo vessels under construction in Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) was launched at CSL’s Kochi yard for the Andaman & Nicobar Administration, on Tuesday.

The vessel is designed as a premium quality passenger ship with electric propulsion suitable for carrying 1200 passengers and 1000T cargo for “all-weather” operation on the Main Land to A&N route, said a release. Built to the highest standards of the Indian Register of Shipping and Lloyds Register of Shipping overseen by the DG Shipping of India, the ship meets the requirements of “Class III Special Trade Passenger Ship” as per Indian Merchant Shipping rules.

The vessel comes with Safe Return to Port (SRtP) compliance which is envisaged to be a first in Asia. Apart from enabling safe & comfortable passenger movement with a speed of 18 knots, it will also be a boost to the tourism sector.

The vessel is approximately 157 Mtr long.

It will now undergo outfitting & building up of the accommodation & living quarters, after which it will undergo testing & trials prior to delivery to the A&N islands in 2021.

This vessel is part of the order of 4 vessels placed on CSL by the A&N Administration. The second 1200 pax vessel is also under construction at CSL.

In the meantime, CSL is in advanced stages of completion of the two 500 pax vessels for inter-island operations at the A&N. The first 500 PAX vessel is scheduled to undergo sea trials next month and expected to be delivered for the A&N islands in March 2020, while the second vessel will be ready for delivery to the islands in June 2020.

The vessel was launched by Rameetha K, Scientist ‘G’, NPOL (DRDO). Also present on the occasion were Suresh Babu N V, Director (Operations), CSL, Bejoy Bhasker, Director (Technical), Jose VJ, Director (Finance), Owner’s Representatives, Senior Officials of CSL and Classification Societies.