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L&T to step up hiring in Saudi for metro rail project

Gets Rs 8,250 cr Saudi metro project

Katya B Naidu  |  Mumbai 

Larsen & Toubro won its biggest ever overseas order in Saudi yesterday, and says that it will hire more hands in that country.

The infrastructure major will also shift some of its best employees from India to the country, to execute Rs 8,250 crore ($1.4 billion) contract for building a metro rail in Riyadh. “We have reasonable resources in Riyadh but because it is a big project, we will send some of our important resources and hire more people locally,” said S N Subrahmanyan, whole-time director and senior executive vice-president, (infrastructure and construction) of L&T.

The total value of the project which was won in a consortium is Rs 35,000 crore. The other in the consortium for this global tender are Ansaldo STS of Italy, Bombardier Transportation of the UK, Impregilo of Italy, Nesma & Partners of Saudi Arabia.

“All the will spare their resources and also hire internationally,” Subrahmanyan told Business Standard. He however did not specify the number of people to be hired as the project which is to be executed over four years after eight months of design, site preparation and other enabling works, is currently in the planning stage.

L&T's portion of the massive contract involves design, construction and commissioning of Line 3 of the metro project. Line 3 is 41 kilometers long and involves a driver-less train operation. It is expected to carry around 5,000 passengers per hour, per direction.

“The contract includes construction of bridges, tunnels, elevated and underground stations, depots, roads, systems for closed circuit television and public announcements, SCADA with allied systems for the first-of-its-kind project in the Kingdom,” the company has said in a press release, yesterday.

L&T started to look for orders internationally over a year-and-a-half back, after domestic ordering dried down. In the last quarter ending June 30, 2013, L&T's orderbook stood at Rs 1,65,393 crore, which grew eight per cent year-on-year. The overseas orderbook grew twice as faster than the total orderbook at 16 per cent and also constituted 12 per cent of the total orderbook. This orderbook does not include the current Saudi win.

The company claims that it would look for more such orders in Saudi Arabia and in the entire Middle East region. “Tax rates are lower there (Middle East), and we get 2.5 times more value than here for the same efforts,” said Subrahmanyan.

First Published: Wed, July 31 2013. 00:08 IST