Major Players: Expertise, operational projects and order books of key construction companies

Expertise, operational projects and order books of key construction companies

The success of metro rail projects in Tier I cities has led to a growing demand for similar systems in Tier II and Tier III citi­es. Al­ter­native systems such as regional rapid transit systems, Metrolite and Metroneo have been proposed in some of the cities with lower ex­pe­c­ted ridership. In terms of upcoming op­por­tunities, developers have the most to gain from the co­nstruction of urban rail systems and the supply of various facilities such as rolling stock, signa­lling and telecommunication systems, fare collection and next-generation ticketing systems.

Indian Infrastructure gives a snapshot of key players in the urban rail segment…

Hindustan Construction Company Limited

Hindustan Construction Company (HCC) Limi­ted is a significant construction company headquartered in Mumbai. Its business includes en­gi­neering and construction, transportation (including mass rapid transit systems), and urban deve­lo­pment. Over the past seven years, HCC has cons­tructed several underground sections and sta­tion buildings for the Delhi metro, station buil­dings for the Mumbai Metro One, and is currently executing one package of Mu­m­bai’s under­ground metro. It constructs mass rapid transit systems on an engineering, procurement and construction basis with multidisciplinary works including civil and structural works, ballast-less track laying and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning work. It builds all the components of a metro rail system inclu­ding un­de­r­ground tunnels (made both in a conventional manner as well as using tunnel boring machines (TBMs)), surface and underground station buildings, and elevated rail corridors for congested urban scenarios. Some of the key projects implemented by HCC are Mumbai Metro Line 3 (ongoing), the Benga­lu­­ru Metro (ongoing), Mumbai Metro One (2014), the Airport Me­t­ro Express line for the Delhi metro (2010), the Vishwa Vidyalaya-ISBT line for the Delhi met­ro (2005), and the Kol­kata metro (1996). On May 13, 2021, HCC, in a joint venture with KEC International Limited, was aw­ar­ded Rs 11.47 billion worth of contracts by Chennai Me­t­ro Rail Limited for the construction of a 7.95 km elevated viaduct section and nine elevated stations on Corridor 4 of Phase II of the Chen­nai metro.

Larsen & Toubro Limited

Larsen & Toubro (L&T) Construction, the construction arm of L&T is among the world’s top 15 contractors, with expertise in executing metro system works including rigid overhead contact systems, overhead electrification and ballast-less trackwork across mass transit systems in India and other neighbouring geographies. L&T’s heavy civil infrastructure business includes the construction of elevated rail corridors, station buildings, track laying, track electrification, comprehensive mechanisation and ex­pansive depots. The company’s expertise also includes the development of underground structures using a variety of tunnelling technologies such as the conventional drill and blast method, the new Austrian tunnelling me­th­od, TBMs, mechanical excavations and soft tunnelling using road hea­ders. In May 2021, L&T secured an order from Chennai Me­­tro Rail Corporation Limited to construct nearly 12 km of twin bored tunnels from Kell­ys Station to Taramani Road. Services offered by L&T Construction include system engineering for train control systems, comprising automatic train supervision, protection and operation, in­cluding electronic interlocking. The company has provided telecommunication systems for some of the key metro rail projects in India, including the Ahmedabad-Gan­dhi­nag­ar metro Phase I, the Lucknow metro and Nagpur metro Phase I.

Afcons Infrastructure Limited

Afcons Infrastructure Limited is a construction and engineering company based in Mumbai. The company provides infrastructure services and is involved in the construction of infrastructure projects such as viaducts, metros and roads. Major contracts secured by Afcons include the construction of an elevated viaduct and nine elevated stations for Phase I of the Kanpur Metro at a cost of Rs 6.56 billion; and design and construction of underground structures (tunnels and stations), including allied wo­r­ks and three underground structures in the Rea­­ch-­6 line of Bengaluru metro rail pro­ject Phase II for Rs 15.26 billion. In May 2021, Afcons Infrastructure and Shankaranarayana Constructions won contracts for the construction of an elevated corridor stretch for Phase II-A of the Bengaluru Metro, connecting Central Silkboard to K.R. Puram and running along the Outer Ring Road.

BEML Limited

BEML Limited, formerly Bharat Earth Movers Limited, is an Indian public sector undertaking headquartered in Bengaluru, which manufactures a wide range of heavy equipment, including earthmoving, transport and mining equipment. Some of its major clients are the Delhi me­tro, Bengaluru metro, Chennai metro, Mum­bai metro, L&T Construction and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited. In consortium with Hyundai Rotem Company and Mitsubishi Corporation, BEML has executed various contracts for Delhi Metro Phases I, II, and III projects. It has also completed the delivery of 40 metro coaches for Jaipur metro Phase I. A consortium of Hyundai Rotem, Mitsubishi and BEML was awarded the contract for supply of coaches for the Ben­ga­luru Metro Phases I and II projects. It won two contracts for 378 coaches and 126 coaches for Mumbai metro Lines 2A, 2B and 7 in No­ve­mber 2018 and August 2019 respectively. More recently, in November 2020, the company won another contract for the delivery of 72 coaches for Mumbai metro Lines 2A and 7. The company plans to target upcoming opportunities in the metro rail segment through the ex­pan­sion of existing networks in Tier I cities, as well as through the creation of new metro networks in Tier II cities.

CRRC Corporation Limited

CRRC Corporation Limited is a leading global supplier of rail transit equipment, with its main business comprising design, manufacture, sale, lease and technical services for rolling st­o­ck, urban rail transit vehicles and all types of electrical equipment. During 2015-16, the company was awarded a contract to supply a total of 192 coaches through two of its subsi­diaries for the Kolkata North-South metro. The company has also completed the delivery of 64 coaches for Mumbai metro Line 1. Further, it has been awarded a contract for supplying 69 coaches for the Nagpur metro, of which 57 had been delivered as of June 2020. The company won a contract for supply of 76 coaches for the Noida-Greater Noida metro. Most recently, the company won a contract for the supply of 216 coaches for Bengaluru metro Phase II in February 2020.

Alstom SA

Alstom provides a wide range of rolling stock solutions for various kinds of systems including metros, tramways, light rail trains, high speed trains, and regional and inter-city trai­ns. It has successfully delivered a total of 168 coaches for Chennai metro rail Phase I. The company has also completed contracts for the delivery of 80 coaches for Lucknow Metro Phase I and 75 coaches for Kochi Metro Pha-se I. In July 2018, Alstom won its biggest contract in India for the supply of 248 metro coaches for Mumbai metro Line 3. It has provided a variety of signalling, train control and telecommunications (STT) services for a number of metro projects in India, including Delhi metro Phases I and II, the Mumbai metro, Jai­pur metro Phases I-A and I-B, the Kochi metro, and Lucknow metro. In January 2021, the company won a contract for the design, supply and installation of an STT system for the Delhi-Ghaziabad-Meerut regional rapid transit system corridor. The company plans to double its manufacturing capacity at Sri City from 240 to 480 train sets per annum. It is also eyeing opportunities for new metro projects in other Indian cities.

The road ahead

The construction sector has faced the maximum brunt of the nationwide lockdown due to migration of labour, disruptions in supply chains, un­availability of raw materials, liquidity crunch, etc. However, the relief measures announced by the government and invocation of the force majeure clause have helped contractors sail through the lockdown phases. In order to recover completely from the pandemic and its impact, the government needs to provide a monetary stimulus to the sector by attracting funds and grants from multilateral agencies and extending sovereign guaranteed funds to revive the interest of the private sector.