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HFCL targets 35% jump in export revenue on TAP deal.

Date: 05-07-2016
Subject: HFCL targets 35% jump in export revenue on TAP deal
KOLKATA: Telecom gear maker Himachal Futuristic Communications Ltd (HFCL) is targeting a 35% jump in export revenue in the current fiscal, relying largely on a sizeable global contract it recently bagged from Switzerland's Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG (TAP) to build an optic fibre communications backbone for monitoring transportation of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Europe.

TAP is developing a mega 2.5 billion oil pipeline spanning 878 km that will extend from the Turkish border to southern Italy, passing through Greece, Albania and the Adriatic sea.

HFCL will build the communications infrastructure of the pipeline that will transport natural gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II gasfield to Europe from 2018.

The company's chairman Mahendra Nahata declined to reveal the size of the TAP contract on grounds of confidentiality, but said the pipeline communications backbone deal will significantly shore up the company's overall export revenue, by way of higher fibre optic cable sales across Europe.

"HFCL has bagged the TAP contract despite serious competition from global rivals in Europe and China, which lends impetus to the Modi government's 'Make In India' drive," Nahata told ET.

In 2015-16, 14% of HFCL's Rs 2,570 crore revenue came from exports. This year, the company is targeting to increase this component 35%, another senior executive said, requesting not to be identified.

Export proceeds from international fibre optic cable sales in the future will be a key driver of HFCL's overall export revenue that will also include telecom network equipment sales, he said.

HFCL has been tasked with delivering 1,550 km of fibre optic cables for the TAP communications backbone, which will have to be concluded by January 2017.

The backbone will enable bi-directional communications from the upcoming European oil pipeline and associated assets such as compressor and block valve stations to TAP's supervisory control centre.

The upcoming TAP oil pipeline is a strategic infrastructure project aimed at reducing Europe's dependence on Russian gas. TAP's shareholders include BP, Azerbaijan's SOCAR, Italy's Snam, Belgium-based Fluxys, Spain's Enagas and Swiss energy firm Axpo.

At present, a fourth of HFCL' revenues annual revenues come purely from fibre optic cable sales, of which 15% comprise exports.

Nahata said HFCL has recently ramped up optic fibre cable manufacturing capacity at its Goa and Chennai factories, which can now collectively roll out 7 million km of cables annually.

"The OFC (optic fibre communications) that HFCL will be laying will provide a little bit of India through many key European markets," he said.

Source : economictimes.indiatimes.com

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