"We are tracking market worth $30 billion globally for the immediate horizon," said Essar Projects CEO Alwyn Bowden. Bowden added that the company's strategy is to establish itself as one of the top international Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) companies in multiple sectors over the next three to five years.
The company designs and executes projects across a number of sectors like mining, metals, refineries, power, pipelines, ports, subsea and civil & buildings.
"India's market is very slow in almost all the sectors. I am not expecting a big upswing in this year or even the next year," said Bowden. He added that despite this the company is well placed in India for this year but will be keenly looking for the projects in the next year.
The company is actively bidding for projects in Africa, South America, South East Asia and the Middle East and is already in talks with key collaborators for strategic partnerships. Amongst the countries where the company is looking at opportunities for expansion of its businesses include Angola, Mozambique, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya amongst others.
Some of the countries where the company is already executing projects include Singapore, Madagascar and Papua New Guinea. The company has an order book in excess of $6 billion and had revenues of $2.2 billion in the previous fiscal.
Essar Projects has also been bidding consistently for projects brought out by National Highways Authority of India (NHAI). NHAI projects have attracted tremendous interest from bidders over the last few years.
However, Bowden opined that although the road sector is the one of the best growing sectors amongst all infrastructure sectors, there is "over-exuberance" in the market and that some of the players have taken projects at very low prices.
According to the 12th Five Year plan, the government plans to spend approximately $1 trillion on infrastructure projects. Bowden expressed concern over projects worth over $80 billion which were stalled (approximately 70% private sector projects) due to various policies and statutory compliance. Projects, which recently restructured its operations, has seen a fair amount of movement in the EPC market in India.
"We believe that a large proportion of Infrastructure projects will be tendered and awarded on public-private partnership basis, led by roads sector. In order to have ringside position in a sector that is forecast to attract almost $1 trillion in investment, Essar Projects and group company Essar Concessions are successfully positioning itself in these projects," said Bowden.