L&T in Talks for Shipbuilding Contract

Tuesday, February 19, 2008
India’s biggest engineering and construction firm, Larsen and Toubro Ltd, is in talks with a Dutch shipowner for a new building contract valued at more than $100 million according to the Wall Street Journal. New orders: Larsen and Toubro’s employees shift a 20-tonne ship part in the company’s shipbuilding yard in Hajira. L&T is negotiating with a Dutch shipowner for a new shipbuilding order.

L&T is currently building eight ships valued at about Rs1,150 crore. These comprise six for RollDock and two from BigLift Shipping BV, also of the Netherlands. L&T launched its shipbuilding venture in May 2006 with an order for building four ships valued at Rs440 crore from the Rotterdam-based shipping firm Zadeko Ship Management CV (now known as RollDock BV). RollDock placed a repeat order in August 2007 with L&T for building two more ships valued at more than $70 million.

Mumbai-based L&T has recently secured clearance from the Tamil Nadu cabinet to set up the country’s biggest shipbuilding facility at Kattupalli in Thiruvallur district near Chennai. The Rs3,000 crore proposed shipyard-cum-port project will be capable of building 25 ships in a year, including five very large crude carriers, each with a capacity to carry 300,000- 350,000 tonnes of crude oil, and 20 Panamax vessels, which can each carry 120,000-200,000 tonnes of dry bulk commodities and are called thus because they can pass through the Panama Canal carrying cargo. The yard will also be able to repair 50-60 ships a year. L&T ventured into shipbuilding last year by converting part of its heavy engineering complex at Hazira into a yard that could build three mid-size ships with a cargo carrying capacity of 15,000-20,000 tonnes in a year. Although, the company is now expanding the capacity of the Hazira yard to make six ships a year, it cannot make bigger ships there. The yard opens into a river that has limited draft (depth in shipping terminology). That explains its decision to build a new yard at Kattupalli. Source: Wall Street Journal

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