Countries such as Nigeria, Kenya and Sudan had already started using over 100 borewell equipment manufactured by KLR Industries in the last 18 months.

Our Bureau

Hyderabad, March 6

With restrictions being clamped on digging borewells across the country, rig manufacturers and drilling companies have now set their eyes on Africa, the Gulf region and Germany that offer a variety of markets.

While Africa needed borewells for routine use, the Gulf users found them useful for their construction needs, and some German companies required them for exploration.

"Africa is the next logical destination for Indian players. African countries will prove to be a good ground for us," said Mr K. Laxma Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director of KLR Industries Ltd.

The company claimed to have a market share of 70 per cent in a Rs 500-crore market.

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, he said the rig manufacturers and drilling companies in the country, particularly in Andhra Pradesh, had been facing a difficult situation with Governments bringing in legislations such as the WALTA (the Water, Land and Trees protection Act) to restrict digging of borewells. "Moreover, the Indian market is saturated," he said.

Realising the reality, the company had started talking to several African governments where the cost of drilling was too high. "We can offer quicker solutions at far cheaper rates," he said.

The company encouraged and facilitated borewell companies in India to test the markets there. "They grabbed the opportunity as they soon realised the potential," he said.

On Sunday, a high-level Zambian delegation led by its Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Mr Mundia F. Sikatana, visited KLR Industries to seal a pact with the company for sourcing rig equipment.

Countries such as Nigeria, Kenya and Sudan in the region had already started using over 100 borewell equipment manufactured by the company in the last 18 months.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated March 7, 2006)
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