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India’s construction and engineering conglomerate, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has expressed willingness to invest a mammoth Rs 62 billion on infrastructure projects in Sri Lanka, Indian media reports said last week.

The announcement comes amidst reports of slowdown in Sri Lanka’s construction sector post the Presidential election in January. “We are looking at expanding our global presence. There is an opportunity we are looking at in Sri Lanka,” Chairman and Managing Director AM Naik had told Indian reporters on the sidelines of the company’s 70th annual general meeting.

He had reportedly said that three infrastructure projects worth Rs 62 billion were likely to come up in Sri Lanka.

Once the resources are tied up, these projects are likely to be materialised during the fourth quarter and the company can bag those projects, he added.

“We are already in West Asia and also made a foray into the African markets. We will continue to look at some more countries for expansion. But our order mix will continue to be 20-25 per cent international and 75-80 per cent domestic, as the market here is now looking promising,” he had said.

However, Naik had stated that the company would continue to be cautious while selecting road projects as several of those that were undertaken by them in India and other countries had failed to make profit. “We have around 17 road projects out of which 6-7 are not profit-making.

Few years back, everyone went aggressive when they thought that roads sector is a sunrise industry. That time we did not understand there could be impediments in terms of right of way, or work will stop, cost will rise and government will not give extra claims because of which majority projects not going well.”