L&T awards contract to French firm

Thales wins pact to build signalling, train control and communication systems
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First Published: Fri, Nov 16 2012. 09 03 PM IST
L&T Metro says the Hyderabad metro will be first in the country to run on a fully automated communication-based train control system. Photo: Mint
L&T Metro says the Hyderabad metro will be first in the country to run on a fully automated communication-based train control system. Photo: Mint
Hyderabad: L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd, a unit of India’s largest engineering and construction company, said on Friday that the company had awarded contracts to set up signalling, train control and communication systems to France-based Thales SA, a maker of aerospace systems and industrial electronics.
The company declined to reveal the value of the contract, which follows a Rs 1,800 crore order it placed with South Korea’s Hyundai Rotem Co. to supply rolling stock.
L&T is developing the Rs 16,375 crore Hyderabad metro rail project, the biggest urban infrastructure project undertaken as a public-private partnership in India. The elevated rail network will cover 71.16km on three corridors comprising 66 stations.
Hyderabad metro will be first in the country to run on a fully automated communication-based train control system that helps to enhance safety and increase the frequency of trains and keep operational and maintenance costs low, L&T Metro said.
“We will be completing the process of awarding remaining contracts for automatic fare collection, elevators and escalators and equipments required for workshop by the end of December,” said V.B. Gadgil, managing director, L&T Metro Rail (Hyderabad) Ltd.
L&T is investing around Rs 4,330 crore as equity—the single-biggest investment so far on any project the firm has executed. The debt component is Rs 10,478 crore. The Union government has provided a Rs 1,458 crore grant.
The company has so far invested around Rs 850 crore on the project, and is yet to draw down its debt.
“Our bankers have asked for revalidation of the debt, which has already been done, so we will start withdrawing the loans in three to four weeks,” Gadgil said. “The first withdrawal would be around Rs 600 crore to pay our civil contractors and for rolling stock advances.”
L&T started work on the metro rail project in May, and plans to complete it by mid-2017.
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First Published: Fri, Nov 16 2012. 09 03 PM IST
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