L&T threat to EIL consultancy business

Vol 20, PW 24 (24 Aug 17) News in Brief

Larsen & Toubro is planning an assault on the near monopoly of state-owned Engineers India in the EPCM (Engineering Procurement and Construction Management) consultancy space.

This report learns L&T has poached around 300 people from the likes of Petrofac, Aker, Dodsal and Mott MacDonald for its new EPCM business driven through Mumbai-based L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering. Leading the charge is Vinod Shah, formerly with Mott MacDonald, Essar Projects and Aker Kvaerner, who is VP and engineering head.

In Shah's sights will be a raft of imminent opportunities among oil refineries planning to either increase capacity or diversify into petrochemicals. One such opportunity, already taken by EIL, is a proposed $3bn petrochemicals complex planned by HPCL and partner Mittal Energy adjacent to their 180,000 b/d (9m t/y) refinery at Bhatinda.

With little or no experience of large EPCM projects, L&T is for now focusing on smaller projects as a dress rehearsal for bigger and better things to come. "It's only a question of time," says a source, "before EIL starts feeling the pressure."