Saturday, January 16, 2021






Work on the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor has made further headway with a total of 16 international companies in joint venture with leading Indian companies qualifying in the pre qualification bid process. This relates to the 400 km Bhaupur- Mughalsarai section  civil structure and track work package which received a huge response with global contractors participating in the bid process. Among those who qualified to submit their bids are firms from Spain, Turkey, Korea, Taiwan, China, Mexico, Brazil, Russia and UK apart from India. These include joint ventures like Isolux Corsan Corviam-Sadbhav-ECI), Gammon-Yuksel,Posco-PNC, China Railway Bureau Group Corporation, Essar-KEC-SACYR Consortium, AG-AFCONS and PEL-BSCPL- CGS.




Authorities at EPC giant L&T Construction are bullish about recovery in the infrastructure sector after receiving orders worth Rs 5,220 crore in the first two months of 2014 across various segments. The most notable is the company’s water and renewable energy business which secured orders worth Rs 2,019 crore from West Bengal, Gujarat and Karnataka. Meanwhile the buildings and factories division of the company bagged orders worth Rs 1,461 crore while the civil infrastructure business got orders to the extent of Rs 739 crore from the National Highways Authority of India and from the Department of Atomic Energy. It is reported Rs 1,001 crore worth of orders were received from domestic and international sources.




A new rail coach factory with a capacity to manufacture 500 coaches per annum has won the approval of the Union Cabinet. The unit will be set up at Kolar in Karnataka at a cost of Rs 1,460.92 crore, excluding the cost of land. While the rail ministry will fund 50 percent of the project cost the state government will take care of the rest besides undertaking to offer 1118.38 land acres of land free of cost.   The new plant will ensure timely availability of passenger coaches to meet growing transportation sector demands.




A 2.5 million tonne a year greenfield cement plant is being launched by Dalmia Cement Bharat by the middle of this year. The Rs 344 crore cement plant will be spread across 380 acres at Yadwad at Gokak near Belgaum, Karnataka.  The plant when commissioned will augment the company’s manufacturing capabilities and expand annual production capacity from 17 million tonnes to 21.8 million tonnes. While Holtec Engineering has been engaged as the main engineering consultant, Larsen & Toubro has been assigned for electrical installation and GDCL for civil works and infrastructure.




Larsen & Toubro has tied up with academic institutions to train engineers as construction technology managers as part of the Build India Scholarship (BIS) programme. Among the schools which it has roped in are IIT  Madras and IIT Delhi, NIT Trichy and NIT Suratkal. The company is also in talks with IIT Kharagpur, IIT Mumbai and IIT Varanasi for the BIS programme. The company has been at the forefront of sponsorship and training of engineering graduates as construction technology managers capable of designing major construction works. Over the last decade and half since the setting up of the programme close to 560 engineers have become construction technology managers with L&T absorbs most of them on the basis of merit.



Stainless steel producer Outokumpu has launched a new range of enhanced and formable duplex stainless steels with high mechanical strength to meet high pressure conditions in harsher environments in the growing Indian oil and gas market.  The Swedish company has come up with speciality EDX range of duplex stainless steel due to it attractive combination of mechanical properties and corrosion resistance. The new products introduced in the duplex range are EDX2304 and FDX family which are superior versions of Duplex Stainless Steels.




Work on the stalled Chennai Port-Maduravoyal elevated corridor in Tamil Nadu is expected to begin with the Madras High Court now directing the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to begin work on the expressway. The NHAI has now issued directions to the Public Works Department Secretary to take the Rs 1815 crore project forward. The Madras High Court has asked all the stakeholders in the project to work in tandem for early completion of the project and to provide relief and rehabilitation at a cost of Rs. 470 crore. It is reported that the project could get back on track in about three months time following the need to mobilise men and material. It may recalled that the concessionaire Soma Enterprises has demanded up to Rs1,000 crore as compensation for cost incurred due to delay in the project. 




The contract to construct and manage the fourth container terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) has been won by Singapore’s PSA International. It is reported the company secured the Rs 8000 crore project by offering 35.90 per cent revenue share to the port. PSA and Adani Ports, Dubai Port World, APM Terminals, Sterlite Ports, United Liner Agencies (ULA) and International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) had qualified. The project, which is awarded on a design, build, finance, operate, transfer ( DBFOT) basis, was first awarded to PSA with ABG Ports, but the winning combination later split leaving the project hanging. It is reported the fourth container terminal when completed will occupy a length of 2,000 metres and have a capacity to handle 4.8 million TEU per annum. 




Chhatisgarh is to get a loan of $300 million for improvement of road connectivity along important corridors under an agreement signed with the Asian Development Bank. The funding is expected to improve more than 900 km of state roads as part of the Chhattisgarh Road Master Plan, which involves upgradation of sections of the roads and strengthening culverts and bridges. It is reported the state government will provide counterpart finance of about $128 million to cover the estimated total project cost.  The project also has components to build the capacities in contract and project management, as well as to introduce a road asset management system in the state, which will enhance potential for road maintenance.




Bus Rapid Transit System projects have been sanctioned for 11 cities in seven states across the country. The projects are located in Pune, Ahmedabad, Indore, Jaipur, Bhopal, Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Rajkot, Surat, Amritsar and Kolkata. It is reported an area in excess of 500 km will be covered under the BRTS projects sanctioned by the Union Urban Development Ministry under the flagship JNNURM programme.




A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Uttar Pradesh government and the Airports Authority of India for the development of seven airports. These airports will come up at Meerut, Moradabad, Faizabad  Agra, Allahabad, Bareilly and Kanpur. The state government of Uttar Pradesh has meanwhile handed over three airports namely Meerut, Moradabad and Faizabad to the AAI and has agreed to also provide land and other logistical support for the establishment of airports at Civil Enclaves at Agra, Allahabad, Bareilly and Kanpur.




The centre is examining the prospects of developing metro rail project at Vishakhapatnam based on the port city crossing the 2 million population mark.  As part of this intent the Union Ministry of Urban Development and Transport has invited a team from Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) to New Delhi to discuss possibilities of setting up a metro rail project. Centre is keen to sanction metro rail projects for three urban areas in residuary Andhra Pradesh including Visakhapatnam. As part of the plan the Centre will allocate nearly 90 per cent of the funds as part of a special package while the remainder will be borne by the state government. According to the currently available cost estimate the Centre will allocate Rs 200-250 crore for the development of one km stretch of the metro rail project. Among the other cities that are being contemplated for metro rail projects are Guntur and Vijayawada. 




A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Maharashtra government and 32 companies in relation to the setting up of greenfield and expansion projects. The investments of up to Rs.23,452 crore are in sectors such as steel, automobile and textiles. Among the important companies that will be coming up with projects are Shree Uttam Steel and Power Ltd, Mercedes-Benz India Pvt. Ltd, Bosch Ltd, Tata AutoComp Systems Ltd and New Holland Fiat India Pvt. Ltd. Uttam Steel, is looking to invest Rs.11,156 crore in a 1.5 million tonne hot roll coil plant and a 40 megawatt captive power plant at Sawantwadi while Mercedes Benz India is seeking capacity expansion at its Chakan plant for passenger cars, bus and truck chassis







The world’s first four-wheel electric-drive hybrid boom has been launched by JLG Industries and has been showcased at the ConExpo in Las Vegas. The JLG H340AJ, with four independent electric drive motors and a Tier 4 diesel powered generator, is expected to perform on par with its diesel powered alternative. Its battery-only operation allows the hybrid boom to be used indoors or outdoors and in other emissions-free areas. It features a platform height of nearly 34 ft, a 17-ft up-and-over reach, and a platform capacity of 500 pounds.




India’s excavator market is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 21.98 percent over the period 2013-2018 on the back of increased government support, according to a recent report by Research and Markets. The crawler excavator is the fastest selling earth moving equipment in India with a total of 16,141 units being sold in 2013. This figure is expected to increase to 50,091 units by 2018. It is reported the increasing growth of the crawler excavator segment of the excavator market in the country is owing to rising demand for 20 ton and 30 ton crawler excavators in the construction and mining sector. The key players in the excavator space are Tata Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. Ltd, L&T Construction Equipment Ltd., and Hyundai Construction Equipment India Pvt. Ltd. The other vendors include Bharat Earth Movers Ltd., Caterpillar Inc., Doosan Corp., Escorts Construction Equipment Ltd., Ingersoll-Rand plc, JCB India Ltd., Kobelco Construction Machinery Co. Ltd., Leyland Deere, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., Terex Corp., and Volvo Construction Equipment.




C-Tech Industries has now introduced refurbished scissor lifts in the market with C-Tech components. The US manufacturer, which specialises in joysticks and control boxes for aerial equipment, launched the scissor lifts at ARA’s The Rental Show in Orlando, Florida, last month The company is now offering Genie, JLG and SkyJack 19’ and 26’ narrow scissors. The lifts come with a new control box, battery charger, batteries with connections, new decals, and new paint in factory colors. There is also the new option of non-marking tires. It is reported each equipment carries a certified annual inspection and warranty.




Atlas Copco has launched two hydro magnets focused on the recycling, scrap and demolition sectors with a view to add to its range of hydraulic attachments. The load capacities, the manufacturer says, are in the range of 280 kg to a maximum of 7,500 kg. Each model can be had in two versions as either a fixed (F) or mobile (M) unit. The hydro magnets can activate voltage rapidly with the effect that large volume of ferrous material can be held firmly in place. In the case of release of material, a shock alteration of the polarity reportedly accelerates demagnetisation, resulting in fast material drop. The result is a magnet plate free from even the smallest ferrous material. 




Liebherr has come up with a stronger wind power boom system for the LR 1600/2 crawler crane. The new SL10 boom system allows hoist height can be raised by 15 metres, thus extending the maximum reach to more than 160 m. It is reported the crane manufacturer said when fitted with the system, the load capacity can be increased from 77 tonne to 92 tonne at a hoist height of 147 m. With the new configuration the LR 1600/2 is capable of installing wind turbines with tower heights of up to 150 m. The transport dimensions do not increase with the new system because it can be fitted on existing machines using additional lattice sections.




A demand for machines with a higher reach and those that could do more for less has led Finnish equipment maker Bronto Skylift to extend its XR (extreme reach) truck mount range. The company is looking to launch a 47 m model in June. It is reported the S 47 XR, which follows on from the first two models in the XR range; the S 56 XR and S 65 XR launched at bauma last year, will include 20 per cent more working height than previous models, 15 per cent additional outreach and 35 per cent extra working envelope.







Eight key infrastructure sectors have displayed a slowdown in January. The to the extent of 1.6 per cent is witnessed in coal, natural gas and petroleum refinery product sectors and serves as a pointer to more contractions in the overall performance of the industrial sector. Industrial output has come down in the past three months thus spurring anxiety over the country’s overall growth The eight core sectors - namely coal, crude oil, natural gas, petroleum refinery products, fertiliser, steel, cement and electricity - account for up to 38 per cent of the index of industrial production and serve as an advance indicator for industrial output data which is expected in March. The pressure on the core sector follows factors like regulatory and policy delays, slowing investment, recalcitrant inflation levels and rising interest rates.




A government panel has recommended increase in annual investments in the transport sector of up to Rs.3.8 trillion in the 12th Five Year Plan rising more than six times to Rs.14 trillion by 2032. The Rakesh Mohan committee on long term national transport development policy in its report submitted to the PMO has said that investments should take into account environmental sustainability and safety. The committee in its recommendations to be implemented over the next 20 years has placed emphasis on the need for a unified transport governance structure.




The government has announced that as many as 235 infrastructure projects have been completed or are under implementation the under Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode during the last three years in the central sector. The PPP framework provides for a capital grant up to a maximum of 40 per cent of the project cost based on transparent competitive bidding. Minister of state for parliamentary affairs and planning Rajeev Shukla has informed that the government has issued guidelines for monitoring of PPP projects which will be required to be put into practice by all Central ministries, departments, statutory authorities and public sector undertakings. It is reported these guidelines will also apply in the case of state government projects that are beneficieries of Viability Gap Funding (VGF) from the Centre. 




The Public Pvt. Partnership Approval Committee has cleared seven infrastructure projects collectively worth Rs 16,057 crore relating to the road and port sectors. The projects approved in the road sector include widening and strengthening of the Bikaner-Phalodi section of NH-15 in Rajasthan, the Delhi-Meerut Expressway and other connecting roads in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, the four laning of Amritsar-Bhatinda section of NH-15 in Punjab, and the Sultanpur-Varanasi section of NH-56 in Uttar Pradesh. Meanwhile, in the ports sector, the government body has cleared the development of an additional liquid bulk terminal at Jawaharlal Nehru Port. 




The Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a $130 million loan with New Delhi for improvement of rail services on busy and most critical freight and passenger transport routes. The investment program target freight and passenger routes in Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, including the critical ‘Golden Quadrilateral’ corridor that connects Chennai with Mumbai. The ADB loan is part of the $500 million Railway Sector Investment Program approved by ADB in 2011, and will finance track components for 840 km of additional tracks along existing railway lines. The project agreement signed between Nilaya Mitash, Joint Secretary (Multilateral Institutions), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, on behalf of the Government of India,  and M. Teresa Kho, Country Director (INRM), on behalf of ADB and Satish Agnihotri, CMD, RVNL  will result in direct and indirect economic opportunities for close to  21 million people in the development areas who will benefit from faster travel times, lower costs, and improved links to markets, production centers, and social service facilities. The programme is due for completion by December 2018.




A Chinese working group has submitted an offer to fund 30 per cent of India’s $1trillion targeted investment in infrastructure during the 12th Five-Year Plan (2012-17). The support to the tune of about $300 billion is part of Beijing’s five-year trade and economic planning cooperation plan to the Indian government. The sectors in which the Chinese have shown interest are railways, notably in the area of electrification, high-speed trains, wagons, last-mile connectivity and gauge conversion. It has also identified sewage treatment and tunnel building as areas where it can offer substantial expertise. Beijing is already parleying with New Delhi for the setting up of industrial parks in India in sectors such as agro-processing and manufacturing.




Petrofac wins $1.2bn gas contract in Oman


International oil and gas provider Petrofac has been awarded a $1.2 billion gas project contract in Oman by BP. The scope of work at the Khazzan field includes engineering, procurement and construction of the central processing facility.  The CPF will include two process trains, each having a capacity of 525 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, and includes an associated condensate processing system, power generation plant, water treatment system and all associated utilities and infrastructure. The project is expected to be completed in 2017.


World largest botanical project for Saudi


Saudi Arabia has embarked on a project to build the world largest botanical gardens. The King Abdullah Gardens (KAIG) in Riyadh will be 2.5m square metres in size and will be one of the largest environment projects in the world. The project will be divided into two separate elements - a covered facility section and an open area. The covered facility will include two giant botanical gardens five times larger than the UK’s Eden Project which contains the world’s largest geodesic domes. The plans for the outdoor area include a museum for plants, seeds bank, rocky garden and will include research institutes, retail and hospitality outlets and a theatre. It is reported with levelling of the site and fencing works already completed construction is already underway.


King Abdullah Project awards $9.59bn contracts


Authorities in Saudi Arabia have announced award of contracts worth $9.59 billion in the King Abdullah Project. This relates to the development of Waad Alshamal City in the north of the desert kingdom. The projects awarded included construction of a number of factories, a 1,000 megawatt power plant, a main road and other projects. The scope of work also includes projects to link Waad Alshamal with the Kingdom’s ports along the Arabian Gulf, raw material supplies, sanitary water treatment and a feasibility study to construct a factory for solar panels and a training centre.


Phase 1 of UAE rail to begin this year


The 266 km inaugural UAE railway project by Etihad Rail is expected to commence by the end of the year with construction almost complete and testing now underway. The railway line from Shan and Habshan to Ruwais will utilise a fleet of seven SD70ACS locomotives supplied by EMD and 240 covered hopper wagons from CSR to carry sulphur from the region to the port at Ruwais on the Persian Gulf coast for export, it is reported.  This is the first phase of the UAE rail network project and is being financed by a $1.2 billion loan. Tenders for construction of the second phase, which will run from the Saudi Arabian border to Al Ain, are close to being awarded.


Drake and Scull bag Riyadh university works


An $87.46 million contract to do mechanical, electrical and plumbing works in Saudi Arabia has been won by Drake and Scull. The Dubai based firm will design, install, test and commission complete electro-mechanical works for three buildings at King Saud University Endowment Projects in Riyadh. The project work is expected to be completed by 2015.


Shapoorji wins Dubai hospital contract 


Shapoorji Pallonji has been appointed as lead contractor for a new health facility based out of Dubai Healthcare City. The 200 bed medical centre being built for the Dr Sulaiman Al Habib Group, will occupy 175,000 square feet of over six floors with three basement levels for parking. It will have an integrated centre for cardiac surgery, along with diagnostic clinics and a cardiac catheterisation unit. Arif and Bintoak Architects and Engineers have been appointed as consultants for the project.







Delhi Metro has signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for installing a solar plant on the roofs of a station. The first 500 kwp ‘Roof Top Solar Power Plant’ will be set up atop Dwarka Sector 21 metro station and will become operational in six months. This makes the DMRC the   country’s first mass transit system to installing solar power plants. The Delhi metro has already initiated a slew of measures intended to conserve the environment using renewable energy and efforts will be made to integrate such solar plants with the station structures of Phase II. The authorities say they plan to explore the possibility of installing more such plants at its stations, depots, parking lots as w ell as residential complexes.




The Ministry of Heavy Industries is planning to develop a 4,000-MW Ultra Mega Green Solar Power Project in Rajasthan which will come up on 23,000 acres of salt pan land  belonging to Sambhar Salts at a cost of Rs 7,500 crore. Across the country six-lakh acres of salt pans – more than 90 per cent with the private sector – can be tapped for putting up large scale solar panels and wind turbines to generate power for salt production and supply surplus to the grid, a research paper on solar salt production by CSIR-Central Salt and Marine Chemicals Research Institute has said.




Global power and automation technology major ABB has bagged orders worth Rs 310 crore from Power Grid Corporation of India. The order relates to the supply of 14 ultrahigh voltage single phase auto transformers for Greenfield substations to be constructed at Kanpur and Varanasi and 36 shunt reactors for 4 substations which will receive power from Jharkhand and West Bengal, and distribute it in Uttar Pradesh (UP) to meet growing demand in the region. It is reported the equipment will be manufactured at ABB’s two units at Savli near Vadodara




Private power utility CESC has acquired land parcels from the Calcutta Tramways Corporation to set up substations which will boost power distribution network in the eastern metropolis. The company will pay Rs 27.73 crore for 49.16 cottah spread over three tram depots in the metropolis that were auctioned by the West Bengal government. The RP-Sanjiv Goenka group owned company is working to build a backbone to meet power demand up to 3,000 MW from 1,900 MW at present.




Private sector firms have won most of the solar projects auctioned in the first batch of Phase-II of the National Solar Mission, Among those who qualified in the financial bids for 750 MW new photovoltaic capacities were SEI, Azure Power India and ACME. While SEI and Azure Power have secured 100 MW of projects each, ACME has bagged nearly 80 MW of new capacities. Other firms that have bagged projects include Tata Power Renewable Energy (35 MW), IL&FS Energy Development (40 MW), Solairedirect Energy India (30 MW), Gujarat Power Corporation (10 MW), Hero Solar Energy (20 MW) and Today Homes and Infrastructure (40 MW). The latest bidding witnessed a good response for more than 120 projects from nearly 68 companies. It is reported the winners will be given a month’s time to sign PPAs and the solar projects have to be completed within 13 months of the date of signing the agreements.




CLP Wind Farms is again looking to dispose off a minority stake to global private equity investors in a bid to raise funds for expansion. The Hong Kong listed power generator which is arguably India’s biggest wind utility farm is hoping to raise up to Rs 1,200 crore and has appointed Standard Chartered Bank to scour for investors. The company owns more than 3,000 mw of power projects in the country and generates 1,000 mw of wind power. The company which owes its existence to Hong Kong billionaire Michael Kadoorie, forayed into India in 2002 by purchasing a majority stake in Gujarat Paguthan Energy Corporation, thus making it one of the biggest foreign direct investments in the country’s wind power sector.




Toshiba JSW Power Systems Private Ltd. has been awarded a contract by NTPC Limited for the supply of two 800MW super-critical steam turbine and generator island packages. The steam turbines which will become operational by 2018 are intended for the Darlipali Super Thermal Power Station in Darlipali, Orissa. As part of the contract Toshiba JSW will carry out engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the complete steam turbine and generator island packages. Early last month Toshiba Corporation reinforced its thermal power generation business in India by integrating the engineering function of Toshiba India Pvt., Ltd. into Toshiba JSW Turbine and Generator Pvt., Ltd., a manufacturer of turbines and generators based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The company, since renamed Toshiba JSW, is looking to offer full EPC solutions for thermal power plants, and is looking to expand its operations in India and the subcontinent.

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