Quest Global, which provides outsourced engineering services and manufacturing, which till now concentrated on aerospace, power generation, oil and gas among other sectors is sniffing business opportunities in the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of associated facilities of nuclear power plants.
The firm that saw $85-86 million (unaudited) revenues in FY2009, is in talks with a couple of EPC firms that specialise in providing engineering services to nuclear power plants. Quest hopes this vertical could help drive its future growth. It is presently concentrating on having engineers with the capability to work on nuclear engineering projects.
As a first step, Quest has hired a vice-president based in the US who is from the nuclear industry, to drive business growth. He is also providing training to the team based in India on safety codes pertaining to the industry. The firm now has a seed team of 20 persons and aims to build the team.
“These engineers will have the expertise to run the associated facilities of a nuclear power plant,” said Bejoy George, chief marketing officer, Quest Engineering and Software Technologies.
Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) had earlier formulated a programme for increasing the installed nuclear capacity. This programme envisages 20 000 Mw of installed capacity by 2020. India’s thorium deposits are expected to fuel the fast-breeder reactors. Quest is looking to develop capabilities to work with EPC firms from Russia, France, US/Japan that could win the contracts to build the fast breeder reactors.
About $15 million has been spent from internal accruals by the firm on its manufacturing facilities in Krishnarajapuram in Bangalore, in Aerospace Precision India (API) and its SEZ. API, a 50:50 joint venture between Quest and Magellan Aerospace, which provides special processes for aerospace parts, will see investments of $2 million over the next 24 months.
At its Belgaum SEZ which is up and running, Quest has set up a 200-people facility, and for this facility about 75 have been trained. By June, the firm will have the rest of them in place in Belgaum. Meanwhile, Quest is looking to invest another $25 million over the next one to one-and-a-half years, the slowdown not withstanding.
The amount has been sanctioned by the State Bank of India.