Spanish construction firms may replicate in India the Meca-Medina HSR deal

As published on Monday in the Spanish business press, India is planning a 1,800 km high-speed line to alleviate its saturated freight train network, as well as to strengthen the country’s industrial development. The Spanish construction companies OHL, ACS, San José, Isolux, Sacyr, Aldesa and Assignia have all signed several alliances in India in order to bid on this contract.

“The Spanish engineering and construction sectors are seeking to replicate in India the success achieved in Saudia Arabia some weeks ago by the awarding of The Meca-Medina project. The Asian giant is planning a high-speed line which will join the cities of Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta […] The country has obtained funds from the World Bank in order to give it the go-ahead, and will make use of a public-private partnership formula to supplement this help.

“Four Spanish groups have entered the bid on the first line section between Bhaupur and Khurja, covering a route of 350km, and valued at around €900mn. OHL already complies with the short-listing requirements, allied to the Indian construction company Punjlloyd, one of the 100 international biggest contractors in public works in 2011. The same situation stands for other two rival consortiums: China Railway Engineering Corporation, joined to the local firm Soma, and the infrastructure group Larsen & Toubro, based in Bombay.

Up to 13 more consortiums are waiting for the institution developing the project, the state-owned Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India (DFCCI), to confirm that they can enter the bid, too. Some of these consortiums have got a participation of Spanish capital.

“Isolux Corsán will participate together with the Indian C&C, with which it signed an alliance in September 2010, aimed to reach projects in public works in India as well as in the former soviet republics and in the Middle East.

“San José has formed a team with ECI, one of the most important companies in India specialising in railway superstructures. The company also has experience in roads development and energy projects.

The counterpart of the Andalusian Aldesa is Tata Infrastructure, subsidiary of the Indian industrial giant Tata, having worked extensively in the railway sector as well as in highways development. Finally, the Australian subsidiary of ACS, Leighton, is participating with its subsidiaries in India and Malasya.”

Out of this first phase of the project, there are other two Spanish companies, Sacyr and Assignia, which are very interested in the Indian high-speed line.

“Sacyr, the group chaired by Manuel Manrique, set a cooperation agreement with the local firm Unity Infraproject, while Assignia has allied to the group KMC, based in Hyderabad.”

About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.

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