Over 20 per cent of Punj Lloyd’s operations are in South East Asia. The company is well positioned to capitalise on new contracts.

The diversified construction and engineering, procurement and construction company, Punj Lloyd, which has a big presence in South East Asia, is sitting pretty with an order book of over Rs 27,109 crore, even as it continues to garner new orders. The company recently won a Rs 1,168-crore railway-related order in Hong Kong through its subsidiary. It is in the process of acquiring Macmohan Holdings Ltd in Australia.

With a turnover of Rs 10,784 crore in 2011-12, the company continues to enter new markets, bagging new orders, through its entities.

Six years ago Punj Lloyd acquired stake in the Singapore’s Sembawang Engineers & Constructors, which enabled the company to penetrate markets in South East Asia using Singapore as its base. Atul Punj, Chairman of Punj Lloyd, outlines the way forward and exciting times ahead along with its success story in Asia Pacific.

How is the order book flow?

The current total order backlog for the Punj Lloyd Group on a consolidated basis is Rs 27,109 crore. While 70 per cent of business is overseas, there is a fair amount of balance with a lot of ongoing Indian projects. As a global diversified conglomerate, we explore good opportunities in any market. Africa is an interesting market with vast potential.

What are the opportunities in the oil and gas sector?

Punj Lloyd is executing several oil and gas projects both in India and abroad. In India we are laying various spreads of the Dahej-Hazira Pipeline for ONGC, the Dabhol-Bangalore Pipeline and the Kochi-Koottanad-Bangalore-Mangalore Pipeline (Phase – II) for GAIL, among others.

Some of the prestigious projects overseas include Fourth Transmission Pipeline for PTT Public Company Ltd, Thailand; SGTP for Qatar Petroleum, pipelines for Yanbu Export Refinery Project for Saudi Aramco Oil Company, Qatar’s largest polysilicon plant, Myanmar-China Oil & Gas Pipeline for South-East Asia and Sabah Sarawak Pipeline in Malaysia for Petronas.

How about the transportation sector, such as roads?

We are executing some interesting orders and are involved in the construction of the Bangalore Metro stations.

We were the first contractor to complete two main stations of the Bangalore Metro Rail Project under Reach 1. Work is aggressively going on in Reach 2 and 3,where Punj Lloyd has three stations each.

Work is also ongoing in Hyderabad on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada Road Project, which was awarded to the GMR-Punj Lloyd Consortium by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) as a part of the NHDP Phase III.

The Hyderabad-Vijayawada Road Project connects Pune in Maharashtra to Machilipatanam in Andhra Pradesh. The Hyderabad-Vijayawada section of NH 65 will reduce the travel time between Hyderabad and Vijayawada.

Besides highways, Punj Lloyd is also building Sikkim’s first Greenfield airport. A spectacular construction site, the airport is at an altitude of 4,700 ft with deep valleys at both ends of the runway. Difficult topography and hostile weather conditions make the project extremely challenging.

Other infrastructure projects include Ascendas International Tech Park, Pune; ASF Insignia, IT-SEZ; Gurgaon Road, commercial buildings at Hiranandani Place Gardens, Panvel, among others.

You had taken up submarine pipeline projects for ONGC and other companies earlier. But of late we do not find much of these in your current portfolio? And what about ports?

Pipelines are our core competence and we are well known as ‘all terrain specialists’. There is no strategic intent to reduce focus in this area. It is a function of the requirements in the industry and our focus on implementing high margin projects. We are currently working on Bombay High for laying of submarine pipelines, WO 16 cluster and SB 14 pipeline project for ONGC, submarine pipeline for Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Ltd.

Ports are not really a focus area for Punj Lloyd, however, the company would like to explore interesting opportunities if they arise.

Singapore has been wooing Indian investors in the transportation infrastructure sector. What are Punj Lloyds’s plans?

Punj Lloyd is strong in the infrastructure sector in Singapore. Seventy per cent of LRT has been built by Sembawang — Punj Lloyd’s company. The company has recently completed Stage 5 contract C586 of the Circle Line in Singapore. The 33.3 km line and 28 stations fully underground orbital route links all the radial lines leading to the city, thereby, providing essential connectivity. Sembawang has constructed four MRT stations — Pasir Panjang, Telok Blangah, Haw Par Villa and Labrador Park, HarbourFront Station fit out works etc. The company has, in the past, built many expressways and other transportation systems in Singapore. Over 20 per cent of Punj Lloyd’s operations are in South East Asia, hence, the company is well positioned to capitalise on new contracts.

You have recently bagged projects in Singapore, how is the business opportunity for you in the region?

Singapore has always been an important market for us. We have a strong presence in both the oil and gas and infrastructure sectors there. Our past experience includes working with prestigious clients like Horizon and Helios for Bulk Liquid Product Terminals and Bulk Liquid Storage and Blending Facility in Jurong, Singapore. Our other major client has been PB Tankers Ltd for whom we constructed 15 petroleum storage tanks at Pulau Busing, other than the topside facility for jetty comprising marine loading arms, gangway towers and others.



(This article was published on February 3, 2013)
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