Mumbai: Engineering and shipping major Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has signed a crucial technology transfer agreement with South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers at its shipyard at Kattupalli, near Chennai.
The agreement was signed with the intention of bagging at least three carriers from the revised nine-ship tender that public sector gas importer GAIL India Ltd is expected to float in the next few weeks. GAIL had issued a INR423.7bn ($6.62bn) tender to charter nine LNG carriers in August last year, which was scrapped in February this year due to poor response.
“We have signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyundai, the world’s largest shipyard, for know-how to manufacture LNG carriers for the GAIL tender,” said M V Kotwal, whole-time director and president (heavy engineering).
“This will help bringing into India the complex technology involved, and help us to gain more orders from India and abroad, since India’s imports of LNG are set to double over the next five years.”
The L&T-Hyundai Heavy agreement comes against the backdrop of a similar pact that was signed last month between state-run Cochin Shipyard and another Korean giant, Samsung Heavy Industries. Samsung had been one of the four Korean yards that qualified for GAIL’s tender requirements, the others being Hyundai Heavy Industries , Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and STX Offshore & Shipbuilding.