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Tuesday, Jun 08, 2004

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Simplex hopes to cross $1-b turnover in five years

Archana Chaudhary

Mumbai , June 7

ENGINEERING and construction company Simplex Concrete Piles India Ltd plans to become a $1-billion company in the next five years.

The Rs 630-crore company that has built the Supreme Court building, approaches to the Howrah bridge, Tata Power's power plant in Mumbai and highway projects, among others, believes that increasing focus on investments on infrastructure by corporates, would help it achieve its goal.

"If India has to achieve a GDP growth rate of 7 per cent to 8 per cent, no sector can afford to ignore infrastructure. And we have already seen more investments flowing into more efficient power plants, roads, petrochemical units and ports. Simplex has orders in hand worth roughly Rs 1,500 crore for 2004-05," Mr Amitabh Mundhra, Director, Simplex Concrete Piles, told Business Line.

Simplex Concrete is an 80-year-old company originally floated as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the London-based Simplex Concrete Piles. In 1947, the Mundhra family bought the British stake.

In the last one-and-a-half years, Simplex has also been working on engineering, procurement and construction projects abroad. These include projects for Qatar petroleum and construction projects in Libya and Bangladesh.

"The sudden increase in oil prices globally has led to more and more oil companies focussing on oil recovery and improved refinery efficiencies. And this has opened opportunities for Indian EPC companies," Mr Mundhra said.

The Kolkata-based company currently operates from 40 sites across the country and has been working on several projects in and around Mumbai and on the western coast.

Simplex is the biggest player in the pile construction industry. It has worked in more than 100 power plants, 15 steel plants, 24 petrochemical and chemical plants and over 100 flyover and bridges in India. Currently, it is working on the Delhi Metro Railway Project.

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