One of the world’s leading designers and builders of industrial facilities, Boccard S.A., is keen to expand in the areas of nuclear energy, biotechnology and biofuels in India. In an exclusive interview, Bruno Francois Boccard, President & CEO, of the Villeurbanne, France, based privately held corporation told INFRASTRUCTURE TODAY that he is in advanced talks with Larsen & Toubro, Praj and Biocon among others to establish partnerships.
Says Boccard, “For industry, we are in talks with Larsen & Toubro. It is going to be a critical partnership for nuclear and oil & gas. Then we are in talks with Praj for a partnership beer and bio-ethanol. We have been speaking to Biocon for a partnership in bio-technology. It is going to be a critical partner not only in India but also abroad.” The parleys are part of the company’s strategy to explore tie-ups with leading local players in the eight verticals that it is present.
The company foresees rapid growth in areas of nuclear energy and biotechnology in India. The French and Indian governments, and the UK-based EDF Energy have been exploring opportunities for construction of six EPR nuclear reactors. And Boccard CEO sees a “huge opportunity” for his company’s participation there.
Moreover, with the acquisition of Chennai-based Areva Bioenergy, Boccard will also be providing solutions to firms in the renewable energy space. “We are going to be packaging very innovative and competitive biomass power plants to provide solutions for the Indian and international market.”
The Boccard chief executive confirmed that he is also eyeing food processing, dairy and healthcare sectors for investment. The company already has an international partnership with Danone in food processing and dairy industries.
Although the Boccard scion declined to give any specific figure in terms of total investment planned since finishing touches are still being put to the company’s business plan for India, he added, “We will be making two types of investments. First, there is the intellectual investment, where we will be training and transferring knowhow. That’s a very critical component. Also, there is asset investment.”
When asked what delayed the group’s arrival in the Indian market by nearly 99 years, Boccard said, “We didn’t want to enter the market without the best solutions, products and services. Today we feel that the marriage between what we have to offer and the team we took over should give us the means to be successful in this market.”