Reliance plans EPC venture

After cracking the world of oil, gas, refining and petrochemicals Reliance Industries is setting its sights on the engineering, procurement and services (EPC) sector says this report in today’s Economic Times.

A blueprint for a global EPC business is said to be ready and the plan with Reliance looking at a turnover of Rs50bn in the first year of operations. EPC services are expected to be offered for projects ranging from highways, airports, bridges and dams to refineries and chemical plants. The focus initially will be in India and later extend to the Middle East and the US.

If Reliance goes ahead with this strategy it would be following Chinese majors such as Sinopec and PetroChina which have large engineering arms that are now going global after achieving considerable success in the Chinese market.

Reliance has strong credentials to take the EPC venture forward. At a time when project delays are increasingly common, Reliance is on the verge of completing its mammoth refinery project at Jamnagar ahead of schedule.

And the EPC business could prove to be a good selling point in Reliance’s efforts to expand its refining and petrochemicals business globally and especially in the Middle East. A partner that can bring in engineering and project expertise will be extremely valuable in today’s tight construction market.

The report also highlights the considerable engineering talent that Reliance plans to build up over the next couple of years. The target is to recruit 4000-5000 engineers.

But Reliance’s biggest problem is likely to be recruiting and retaining good engineers, already a scarce resource in India and many other parts of the world.

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