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Wednesday, Oct 13, 2004

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L&T to set up fabrication unit in Gulf region

Vimala Vasan

Abu Dhabi , Oct. 12

LARSEN & Toubro is planning to set up a mega modular fabrication facility in one of the Gulf states on the lines of its Hazira yard in Mumbai..

Mr Joseph Mathew, General Manager, International Business development, L&T, who is here to participate in ADIPEC 2004, told Business Line that the project was in an advanced stage of planning and the location in the Gulf would be disclosed shortly. The project is expected to get under way in a year's time.

"We are talking to investors at present. The project requires a huge waterfront area of close to 200 acres and the facility will be spread around 200,000 sq.yards," he said. The project, planned on a larger scale than the Hazira facility, is estimated to be capitalised at around $50 million and will employ a large workforce.

He said that the facility is aimed at servicing the regional market better, projecting the company's capabilities and enforcing its long-term commitment to this region.

L&T is planning the new fabrication facility to cater to projected demand from the Gulf states, Iran and Africa, Mr Mathew said.

The firm's future international operations are focused on the Gulf states and African countries such as Nigeria, Tanzania and Libya. Mr Mathew said that L&T is also planning to set up a full-fledged engineering centre in the UAE within six months to cater to the requirements of its construction projects in the Gulf region. The centre will have a staff of 40 to 50 persons initially and later be ramped up depending on demand, he said.

As part of a major overseas expansion and capacity building efforts, L&T is also looking at buying process related companies in the US and Europe.

In India, concerted moves are under way to set up two more modular fabrication yards in Managalore and Vizag for deep-sea retro fitment works, he said. A joint venture proposal for purchasing barges and pipelines is also being finalised with a major Indian corporation.

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