UEM-Renong eyeing more construction jobs in India

THE UEM-Renong group is eyeing more construction projects in India, according to United Engineering (M) Bhd (UEM) managing director and chief executive officer Abdul Wahid Omar. 

It is still too premature to announce anything, he said, but added that the group would bid for more projects on a competitive basis. 

Wahid told reporters this on the sidelines after a sectoral workshop on Energy and Infrastructure held in conjunction with the NAM business forum in Petaling Jaya yesterday. 

Wahid said the UEM-Renong group had secured nine packages of road construction projects worth RM1.5bil in India, adding that Indian construction projects represented 50% of the group's total order book.  

Earlier, Wahid in his presentation on the sector's trend and prospects said that India was currently experiencing the most exciting phase in road construction, particularly in its National Highway Development programme involving 13,146km of highways, which is estimated to take 10 years to complete with total development cost of US$12bil. 

Among the major Malaysian construction companies already in India are the UEM-Renong group, Sunway, Gamuda, WCT, Binapuri, IJM, Bumi Highway and Road Builder. 

India-based IRCON International Ltd managing director B.S.Kapu, meanwhile, said that India's immediate requirement of funds for development of new facilities and improvement in its existing ones in various sectors is estimated at US$500bil. 

“The fund requirement up to 2005-2006 for power, roads and port sectors is expected to be US$12.2bil, US$2.7bil and US$ 700mil respectively,” he said. 

According to Kapur, the Indian government has been putting in place legal and policy structures in vital sectors such as telecommunication, roads, oil and gas and ports to foster private participation. 

On road development, Kapur said that India had 3 million km of roadsof which 58,000km comprised national highways. 

According to Kapur, the National Highway Authority of India is now implementing the US$12bil National Highway Development Project. 

For road maintenance, India re-quires investments to the tune of US$1.4bil for national highways and US$1.6bil for state highways during the next five years. The work is proposed to be fully privatised. 

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