Sees opportunities in urban transportation

BEML announced its plans to invest Rs. 680 crore in projects that would enable the diversification of its productive capacity in the next three years. V. R. S. Natarajan, Chariman and Managing Director, said the company planned to invest Rs. 316 crore in its aerospace division, which has projects in the aerospace SEZ near Bangalore and in Mysore.

The company proposes to invest Rs. 100 crore in the Durgapur-based Mining and Allied Machinery Corporation (MAMC), which was recently acquired by a consortium of BEML, Coal India and the Damodar Valley Corporation. Mr. Natarajan said BEML, which at present holds a 48 per cent stake in MAMC, planned to increase it to 51 per cent soon.

“We see great potential in the MAMC because it is in a good position to take advantage of the fact that in future most of the good quality coal is going to come from underground mines, not opencast mines.” He said the company's assets — land, forging plant, oxidation plant and casting plant — can be deployed profitably.

The company also plans to invest Rs. 100 crore in windmill projects. “The power generated from these windmills will be used for our own consumption,” he said.

Mr. Natarajan said the company's rail and metro business had registered a growth of 114 per cent in 2009-10, while the defence business grew 14 per cent. However, he said exports “slowed down because of the global economic situation.” “Some of the orders did not fructify because the letters of credit were not executed,” he said.

Gross sales are likely to touch Rs. 4,200 crore in the current year from Rs. 3,558 crore in 2009-10. “We have set a turnover target of Rs. 5,000 crores for 2011-12,” he added.

Referring to the opportunities in the urban transportation space, particularly in metro systems, Mr. Natarajan said BEML would be willing to build rail cars on contract for winning bidders even if it did not bag the contracts.