Sunday, October 17, 2004

India's L&T sets sights on Iran

L&T sets sights on Iran: "L&T sets sights on Iran

PRASANNA UPADHYAY & SAMBIT DATTA
Posted online: Monday, October 18, 2004 at 0000 hours IST

MUMBAI, OCT 17: India’s largest engineering & construction company Larsen & Toubro (L&T) is planning to foray into Iran. The company is in talks with the Iranian government for developmental projects including those in the oil & gas sector and the water sector.

A senior company executive said that the company is exploring projects which will be set up through public-private partnership. Iran is looking for investments in its petrochemical projects as well as in refinery modernisation. Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is also evaluating picking up stakes in petrochemical projects in Iran.

“While we have not been offered equity as yet in any of these projects, we are not averse to the idea of picking up stakes,” said a senior L&T executive.

Apart from the hydrocarbon sector, the company is also looking at water projects. The official added that the company is also exploring a water desalination project.

While Middle East has been the main focus area for overseas projects, the company is exploring engineering & construction (E&C) projects in Iraq, Kazakhstan and Nigeria and parts of Africa.

The E&C division continued to take various initiatives during the year 2003-04 in gaining a firm foothold in the international market and consolidating its domestic market presence.

In order to exploit future opportunities in the oil and gas sector, the division is supplementing the fabrication yard at Hazira with a new facility at Mangalore.

The official added, “The division is increasing its present capacity in conventional oil platform building to exploit opportunities in development of both offshore and onshore gas processing faciliites. Large opportunities exist in the refinery and the upstream oil and gas sectors in the Middle East and select countries in Africa. With the prospects in deep water exploration on the rise, the division is looking at building capability in this domain.”

The company recently secured an order valued at $30 million for upgrading facilities at the Bu Hasa project of Gasco in Abu Dhabi. Gasco is engaged in gas gathering and processing in UAE and is part of the ADNOC group.

For the current fiscal, the E&C division of the company is expected to post a 35% increase over last year’s turnover of Rs 2,300 crore."

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