L&T says Hazira plant will struggle due to Fukushima

A M Naik Engineering and construction major Larsen & Toubro expects to commission its heavy forgings and castings unit at Hazira in Gujarat early next year, its chairman and managing director A M Naik told shareholders at the 66th annual general meeting held in Mumbai on Friday.

The Hazira unit, set up in partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries of Japan, in January started production of supercritical boilers and turbine generators for nuclear plants.

L&T is building the Rs1,725 crore heavy forgings facility as part of a joint venture with the Nuclear Power Corporation of India (NPCIL). L&T holds 74 per cent in the JV. 

Naik had said when the unit was started in 2009 that it would begin exports from that unit in 2013. The facility has a capacity of 1 lakh tonne per annum (tpa) of special steel and 40,000 tpa of forgings.

However, Naik admitted on Friday the plant is facing uncertainty due to a reduction in export orders from nuclear projects after the Fukushima disaster in Japan early this year. ''It will be a huge challenge to fill up the shop for the next two years,'' he said.

India plans to quadruple its installed nuclear power capacity by 2020 and take it to 63,000 mw by 2032.