* L&T plans to bid further $3 bln of projects in the region
* International competition is tough - CEO
* L&T shares rise less than 1 pct in Mumbai trading
(Adds contract value, CEO interview)
By Matthias Williams
NEW DELHI, June 5 Larsen & Toubro Ltd (L&T)
won an infrastructure contract worth nearly $300
million from Saudi Aramco as India's biggest
construction and engineering firm chases overseas projects to
offset a slowdown at home.
L&T has steadily expanded its global footprint, recently
winning a construction project at the Abu Dhabi airport. The
firm is further bidding for about $3 billion worth of projects
in the region, including more construction work for Aramco and
an oil refinery in Oman, its CEO told Reuters.
"International competition is tough, but we'll see," said
CEO and Managing Director Krishnamurthi Venkataramanan by phone
India's economy, the third largest in Asia, has struggled to
recover from its worst slowdown in a decade, hitting
infrastructure projects. Local firms such as L&T and Tata Power
Co Ltd have been scouting for growth opportunities
abroad, particularly in the Middle East, Africa and Southeast
"Right now, with the present situation in India where the
economy is a little slower, we're not starting from zero," he
said. "We're already well-positioned. And obviously there is a
higher motivation to accelerate that effort because the market
is bigger there rather than here at this point of time."
In the Aramco project, L&T will build a plant with a daily
capacity to process 75 million standard cubic feet (scfd) of gas
and 4,500 barrels of condensate, the company said on Wednesday.
L&T, whose interests span shipbuilding to railways, has
forecast growth in net sales of as much as 17 percent in the
fiscal year which started in April. It also sees new orders
growing by about a fifth.
The Mumbai-based company's profit fell about 7 percent in
the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year as existing
infrastructure projects struggled to get off the ground.
Shares in L&T rose about 0.6 percent as of 0755 GMT in a
Mumbai market that was up 0.1 percent.
(Reporting by Matthias Williams; Editing by Ryan Woo)