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Thursday, May 04, 2006

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DLF-LOR joint venture eyes airport, infrastructure projects

Moumita Bakshi Chatterjee

London , May 3

Close on the heels of announcing its joint venture with real estate developer DLF, the UK-based construction major, Laing O'Rourke (LOR), has said it is keen to participate in airport modernisation projects as well as infrastructure projects in India.

"The common objective of DLF and LOR in the joint venture was to make it into a profitable independent construction company. We are open to airport modernisation projects as and when an opportunity comes up," said Mr Mark Oliver, Director of Laing O'Rourke (LoR), which is currently involved in construction of 4.2 billion Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport.

The Heathrow T5 project spans 250 hectares, with terminal complex measuring 204,200 square metres.

It would also have two satellite buildings of 67,000 square metres each, running parallel to the core building (T5A), besides a 600-bed hotel.

The scope of work for LOR - which has deployed 1,100 people at the site - includes 1 billion of direct works, and 1 billion of building integration.

When contacted, Mr Nimish Gupta, Vice-President - Operations and Business Development, Laing O'Rourke Technical Services, said the joint venture - with strong capability in construction - would position itself as a contractor in upcoming airport projects in India based on location and procurement model.

"The JV will be selective in its approach in identifying those projects that justify value addition. It would not pursue small value projects. We will be eyeing opportunities in roads projects, highways, bridges, and cross city infrastructure including water pipeline amongst others," Mr Gupta said.

Asked if the JV would also be keen to participate in the proposed dedicated rail freight corridor project, he said: "We have not yet dwelled deeper into this, but since we have the capability we may look at it."

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