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Wednesday, Mar 30, 2005

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US construction co Exceed bags 6 projects in Chennai

M. Ramesh

Chennai , March 29

EXCEED International, a US-based design and construction company, has, in the last few months, secured contracts for six projects in Chennai, covering 1.8 million sq ft and valued at close to Rs 200 crore. The details are as seen in the table.

Most of these projects were secured over the last six months, company officials said.

In a parallel activity, the company is putting up plant to manufacture prefabricated concrete walls and floors near Chennai. The project will cost about $5 million (Rs 23 crore), Exceed's President and CEO, Mr Charlie Miles, told Business Line on Saturday.

In Chennai, the company intends to get into two types of activities - constructing buildings as a contractor or as a joint venture partner and developing residential and `mixed-use' projects on its own.

It is for the second line of activity - developing properties as the `sole owner' - does the pre-cast walls and floors unit becomes relevant.

Mr Miles said that there was still a resistance from Indian developers to the use of pre-cast walls and floors, but for buildings that Exceed would construct and own, it would use the pre-fabricated products.

Mr Miles said that Exceed was in the process of firming up deals for two company-owned projects, the investments in which would be about $10 million (Rs 45 crore). He said that the details of the projects would be announced in about two weeks.

Mr Miles said that Exceed intended to bring to India a number of innovations in building technology, such as `hollow-core' and `double-wall'. These walls would bear the load of the building and would use no steel at all.

Another innovation that the company proposes to bring in is `light emitting diodes'. These are diodes (electronic devices that allow electricity to flow only in one direction) that glow when current passes through them. The light bulbs made with this technology have a much longer life - around ten years - and consume much less electricity than the conventional lighting systems. "If you drop this bulb on a concrete floor from ten feet height, it will bounce," Mr Miles said.

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