Sep 11, 2009

L&T aims Rs 4,000-6,000 cr from nuclear equipment business

Larsen & Toubro (L&T), which has teamed with four major global nuclear power (NP) equipment vendors, aims to earn annual revenue of Rs 4,000-6,000 crore from the business once India’s ambitious 60,000 Mw nuclear capacity addition plan is launched within the next 12-18 months.

The company plans to become a major exporter of NP equipment, including forgings and reactors, while emerging as one of the most integrated makers in the business, K V Kotwal, whole-time director and senior executive vice president, heavy engineering, L&T, told Business Standard.

“This 60,000-Mw capacity addition plan spans till 2032 and we expect to earn an average Rs 4,000-6,000 crore every year from the nuclear business. We expect the government to start placing orders with vendors in the next 12-18 months,” he said.

Over six months, L&T signed co-operation agreements with four of the five major advanced reactor makers — GE Hitachi of the US; Atomstroyexport (ASE), part of Rosatom of Russia; Toshiba Westinghouse of the US and Atomic Energy of Canada (AEC). L&T will undertake construction of nuclear power plants, including supply of reactor equipment and systems, valves, electrical and instrumentation products.

L&T has experience in equipment manufacture, construction, project maintenance and other support services for indigenously developed pressurised water reactor (PWR) programmes in India, starting with the Tarapur reactor in 1974. It also has a major role in construction, piping and erection services for the first two Russian technology nuclear reactors coming up at Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu.

Kotwal said the company had asked the government to give domestic companies such as L&T more role in the civil nuclear programme. Its nuclear equipment forging shop coming up at Hazira in Gujarat at an investment of Rs 1,500 crore will be ready by 2011, he said.

“At Hazira, we will be able to manufacture 200-250 tonne big forgings initially and our ultimate aim is to make full nuclear reactors and emerge as a global player,” he said.

India’s plans are to add 8x700 Mw pressurised heavy water reactors (PHWR), 3x500 fast breeder reactors, 1x300 Mw advanced heavy water (thorium) and 10x1,000 Mw light water reactors. Vendors such as GE Hitachi, Toshiba Westighouse, Areva and Rostam will provide light water reactors of 1,000 Mw and above, which will come up in four to six nuclear parks, with six to eight reactors in a single location, with each having the same technology.

L&T also announced that it had bagged a repeat order for design, manufacture and supply of four steam generators for 700 MWe PHWRs for the 7th and 8th units of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Plant from the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. These will be the largest steam generators built in India so far, said L&T.

The company also won a ‘technology development’ order from the Department of Atomic Energy for welded grid plate for the core assembly of a fast breeder reactor, which is part of India’s next stage NP programme. With this, L&T’s NP equipment business unit has won orders worth Rs 405 crore over the past week, said a company statement.

September 11, 2009.

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