Surat, Jan. 11
Engineering giant Larsen & Toubro Ltd plans to invest Rs 5,000 crore on setting up seven new factories in Gujarat and another Rs 2,000 crore at Chennai on a shipyard in the next two years, said Mr A.M. Naik, Chairman and Managing Director.
In the next five years, L&T will be investing nearly Rs 25,000 crore in various projects across India, he said.
L&T's Works at Hazira near Surat is going to have the world's largest covered nuclear manufacturing facility at a single location, specialising in the manufacture of reactors and steam generators, and which would facilitate large-size over-dimensional equipment's direct loading onto ocean-going barges/vessels, with the Works having direct access to the Arabian Sea from its three captive jetties.
With India signing agreements with Russia and France for supply of nuclear fuel, L&T expects to emerge as part of global nuclear power generation club, he said here after the foundation stone laying ceremony of a joint venture between L&T (74 per cent) and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) 26 per cent.
L&T is capable of making nuclear power plants on a turnkey basis, Mr Naik said, adding nearly 25 such plants are expected to come up in India in the next two decades. “In the next four years alone, we would have revenues of nearly Rs 2,500 crore from nuclear power sector.”
Being set up with an investment of Rs 1,700 crore, the new L&T-NPCIL facility, one of the seven L&T plants, would be a fully-integrated plant — covering the entire range on a turnkey basis, from melting of steel to finished equipment — under the public-private partnership (PPP) model to indigenously produce special steels and ultra-heavy forgings for nuclear reactors, pressurisers and steam generators, in addition to heavy forgings for critical equipment in the hydrocarbon sector as well as for thermal power plants.
One of these factories, a boiler shop, the second largest after BHEL ever created in 50 years, is expected to be commissioned in March-April 2010 and the six others subsequently in the next 18 months, he said.
In Vadodara also, L&T's plant to manufacture composites would be commenced in the next two months. With its ongoing five roads projects, L&T has so far invested nearly Rs 7,000 crore in Gujarat. Mr Naik said L&T invested Rs 7,000 crore even during the global economic meltdown, “the best period to do so”, and set up engineering plants in Coimbatore, Orissa and Oman.
The company currently has an order book worth Rs 50,000 crore which is expected to swell to Rs 85,000 crore by the end of the fiscal 2009-10.
Referring to L&T emerging as a big player in power sector, he said the company has just won a 1,500-MW bid at Rajpura in Punjab, where thermal plant would be set up with an investment of Rs 4,000 crore.
In the next four years, it plans to manufacture equipment for 5,000 MW of thermal power and 500 MW of hydroelectric power. For these expansion plans, L&T would be recruiting 7,500 engineers in the next three years and create around 20,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Mr Naik said he favoured continuation of stimulus packages in India for an onward march of economy and achieving 8-9 per cent of growth. He also called as “unprecedented” the country's almost total dependence on China and regretted that the neighbouring country now accounts for 80 per cent of India's needs for power generation equipments, even as India's own manufacturing sector, such as textile, is being “systematically killed.”
Referring to the longevity of Chinese power equipment, he said L&T's equipment were twice as durable, and called for revitalising the country's domestic manufacturing sector in a big way. India should put an end to the “unfair situation” and reverse the regime of zero import duty on foreign products and sales tax on domestic ones that encourage imports and discourage indigenous industry.
About the Satyam episode, Mr Naik said L&T still held about 5.5 crore shares worth Rs 600 crore in the IT company and will wait for the next year before deciding its move. The episode has proved that engineers from other streams, who had joined the IT bandwagons and, therefore, lost out, should stick to their core strengths for steadiness of their jobs.Related Stories:
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