L&T to foray into shipbuilding industry

Thursday, 29 May 2008, 13:07 Hrs
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Mumbai: Engineering giant Larsen & Toubro (L&T) will venture into shipbuilding industry with an initial investment of 20 billion ($468 million) next year.

Announcing this at the company headquarters here Thursday, L&T chairman and managing director A.M. Naik said the shipbuilding project would kick off in April 2009 and the first L&T-built vessel was expected to be ready to sail the seas within two to three years.

Elaborating on the project, L&T (Construction) president and board member K.V. Rangaswami told IANS: "We have acquired 1,200 acres in Kottapalli, north of Chennai, for a shipbuilding yard. The Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation also holds three percent stake in it."

On the L&T's airport construction projects, Rangaswami said most of the domestic airport works were either in the "final stages or complete".

"Now, we are looking at West Asia (the Middle East)," said Rangaswami. The company has already cleared the pre-qualification bidding stage for constructing airports in Oman and Kuwait.

Rangaswami said a major chunk of the revenue from international operations which constituted 16.4 percent of the gross revenue this year, came from projects in West Asia.

"The only place apart from West Asia where we are building a strong presence is Africa. There we are engaged in the power sector," he said.

Discussing future plans of L&T which saw a surge in revenue this year, Naik said: "We do not foresee much impact of the economic slowdown at least during 2009-10 because we are looking at places like the Gulf and focusing on infrastructure which we believe will continue at a good pace."
Source: IANS
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