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L&T to invest USD 400mn to ramp up shipbuilding capacity

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Engineering major Larsen and Toubro (L&T) said that it has lined up an investment of more than USD 400 million (nearly Rs 1,840 crore) for expanding its ship building capacity, especially for defence, by mid-2011.

"Our Hazira manufacturing facility has certain limitations as it cannot produce large ships. So We are setting up a new facility near Ennore port to produce large ships and submarines, mostly for the Indian Navy," L&T Executive Vice President and Board Member M V Kotwal told PTI on the sidelines of Defexpo-2010 on Tuesday.

He said the company has around 1,200 acres of land near Kadipully village adjacent to Ennore port near Chennai where it is building a ship manufacturing facility which would be used for building defence vessels.

Besides defence vessels, the facility would also be utilised for producing other large ships such LPG and LNG carriers, Kotwal said.

Asked about the investments, he said the company will be investing around USD 400 million for setting up the facility which is expected to become operational by mid-2011.

Speaking about the company's proposed joint venture with Franco-German aerospace and defence group, EADS, he said, "L&T is talking to the government to resolve the issue."

Earlier, the government had rejected L&T's proposal to set up a joint venture with EADS for providing services to the defence sector. .

Kotwal said the company has identified four core areas -- Radar, Electronic Warfare, Avionics and Mobiles -- for co-operation with EADS to provide services to the Indian defence sector.

When asked about the revenue projection, he said the company is targeting a turnover of around Rs 2,500 crore from defence, nuclear and avionics segment.

The company is particularly bullish on nuclear segment as the sector has a business potential of over Rs 6,000 crore for private firms.

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