Economy

L&T chief shows interest in State's power, road sectors

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on December 22, 2011 Published on December 22, 2011

A. M. Naik calls on CM; discuss subjects of mutual business interest





Technology, engineering, construction and manufacturing giant L&T has expressed interest in partaking in developmental works in Kerala.

This was what actually transpired during a meeting between the Chairman and Managing Director, Mr A. M. Naik, and the Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy, held here on Wednesday.

‘COURTESY CALL'

What was intended to be a ‘courtesy call' by the visiting top honcho of the country's leading private sector company had soon morphed into a discussion on subjects of mutual business interest, sources told Business Line.

In recent times, the State has pulled no stops in wooing private sector investments to push a slew of major infrastructure projects.

According to the sources, L&T has expressed keen interest in the power and roads and bridges sector in the State. During his discussions with the Chief Minister, Mr Naik is learnt to have stressed the credentials of L&T as a private sector company that almost matched the public sector peers in terms of the corporate profile, shareholding pattern and approach to work.

Sources quoted Mr Naik as having emphasised that the company did not belong to any identifiable promoter group.

COMPANY PROFILE

Among those who held the largest number of the company's shares is public sector insurance giant LIC (19.15 per cent), followed closely by a trust floated by the L&T employees (12.17 per cent).

Mr Naik evinced interest in getting involved in the 2,000-MW thermal plant that the Kerala and Odisha Governments are jointly promoting in Odisha.

The Chief Minister is said to have cited the provisions of the promoter agreement which would entail prior consultations with the partner State before committing anything on this front.

The proposed thermal plant, since approved by the Kerala Cabinet, seeks to source coal from Baitharani fields in Odisha.

JOINT VENTURE

The Centre had allotted Kerala, Odisha and Gujarat to prospect coal equivalent to 3,000 MW each for the three States from the Baitharani block, which is estimated to have 608 million tonnes of coal reserves.

Coal prospecting is currently going on in the block under a joint-venture company floated by the three States for undertaking mining operations.

The two States would form a special purpose vehicle for implementing the project, estimated to cost of Rs 8,000 crore in three phases of 650 MW each. The power generated would be equally shared.

Published on December 22, 2011
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