The Indian engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) projects to defence multinational, Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has won the bid for a substantial part of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail (MAHSR) or bullet train corridor.
In a press release issued late Wednesday evening, the construction arm of L&T said that it had secured the mega order for its heavy civil infrastructure business in India from the National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHRCL). To date, this is the biggest EPC contract awarded in the country and is the first of its kind project with a mandate to construct the 237.1 km stretch MAHSR-C4 package.
The award also happens to be the most significant EPC contract in the 82-year old conglomerate’s history.
This corridor covers about 47 per cent of the total alignment of 508 km between Vapi and Vadodara in the state of Gujarat including four stations, viz. Vapi, Billimora, Surat and Bharuch. The scope for the MAHSR-C4 package includes the construction of viaducts, stations, major river bridges, depots and other auxiliary works. The approximately 508 km-long MAHSR corridor will cover 155.76 km in the state of Maharashtra, 4.3 km in the union territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and 348.04 km in the state of Gujarat with 12 stations along the route.
Upon completion, India’s first bullet train project will operate at a speed of 320 kmph, covering the entire distance in nearly two hours with limited stops and in three hours with all stops.
“A Bold Decision!”
Describing the award as a bold decision by the Government of India, Ministry of Railways Indian Railway Board and NHRSCL, L&T CEO & Managing Director, SN Subrahmanyan averred that it augured well or not just the construction industry but for the country’s infrastructure sector as well.
“We believe it will be an inflection point in the resurrection of India’s infrastructure economy by not only creating jobs but also encouraging several other industries, MSMEs and SMEs to be a part of this mega project to provide the necessary services and facilities under the Make in India and Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. It will hugely boost other similar projects to connect other major economic centres in the country to enable business, cut travel time and be a game-changer from the perspective of an economic revival and activity,” said Subrahmanyan.
“This is by far the largest EPC order that L&T has won in its history and to execute such a huge and complex infrastructure project, we will deploy state-of-the-art construction methods and extensive digital technologies,” opined SV Desai, Whole Time Director & Senior Executive Vice President Civil Infrastructure, L&T.
NHSRCL had opened technical bids (https://infrastructuretoday.co.in/web-exclusive/nhsrcl-opens-technical-bids-for-one-of-its-biggest-tenders/117859) for the tender on September 23. After a rigorous evaluation process, the financial bids opened in less than a month on October 19. A total of three bidders, including A total of three bidders involving seven major infrastructure companies, had participated in the bidding. These included a consortium of Afcons Infrastructure Ltd, IRCON International Ltd and JMC Projects India Ltd, a consortium of NCC Ltd, Tata Project Ltd and J Kumar Infra Projects Ltd. and Larsen & Toubro Ltd.
L&T had emerged as the lowest bidder for the project.
The MAHSR project will likely create more than 90,000 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase, an NHSRCL spokesperson had earlier told INFRASTRUCTURE TODAY. Besides, the ecosystem for the production and manufacturing of components for the project would also gain traction.
According to an estimate, nearly 7.5 million tonnes (MT) of cement, 2.1 MT of steel, and 140,000 MT of structural steel will get utilised in the construction, with everything produced in India. The market for large construction machinery is also likely to benefit from the project, the spokesperson had added.