Mumbai: Kvaerner, the international engineering and construction group, has announced that it has secured a contract to design and build a life sciences complex for Reliance Life Sciences, a Reliance group company, near Mumbai.
The Kvaerner team will represent a global effort with conceptual design, detail consultation and validation originating from their US headquarters in Bridgewater, New Jersey; procurement services from its Solent-UK operation; and detail design and field support from its Mumbai affiliate. The Reliance Life Sciences campus will include research and development laboratories, a cGMP pilot plant, animal environments and a greenhouse.
This campus is a fast-track project, with some R&D laboratories to be completed early this year. The construction of these laboratories is the preliminary step towards launching commercial operations for the company's cell biology initiatives.
Says Reliance Industries Ltd vice-chairman Mukesh Ambani: ''Reliance Life has envisioned to bring biotechnology to benefit life, living and living systems in a cost-effective and sustainable manner. We are enthused about working in this new area and look forward to working with Kvaerner to build a world-class campus in India.''
Says Kvaerner (pharmaceutical business unit) president John Petchonka: ''This award is a wonderful opportunity for Kvaerner to expand our service of the biopharmaceutical industry into the rapidly-growing market in India. We are also excited by the opportunity to service a valued customer, Reliance, in a new business area.''
The Reliance group is the largest private sector enterprise in India with revenues of Rs 62,000 crore (US $13.2 billion), assets of Rs 55,000 crore ($11.8 billion) and a market capitalisation of Rs 60,000 crore ($12.7 billion).
The group's activities span textiles, synthetic fibres, fibre intermediates, petrochemicals, oil and gas production, financial services, petroleum refining, power, insurance, telecom and infocom initiatives. Reliance Life was incorporated in January 2001 and is a new millennium initiative of the Reliance group.
Reliance Life is developing opportunities in the domains of medical, plant and industrial biotechnology. Kvaerner earned the contract with Reliance based on their expertise and leadership in the biopharma arena, global capabilities with the local India location and long-standing positive relations with Reliance.
The Reliance Life campus will be executed in two phases. The first phase will include the R&D laboratories, animal environments and the greenhouse. The second phase will involve the construction of various support systems, integral for the operation of the biotechnological laboratories. Completion of the life sciences campus is slated for March 2003.