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Megha Engineering arm Drillmec to set up $200-million oil rigs hub in Telangana

Meil's Italian arm says the global hub will have a manufacturing facility for oil rigs and ancillary equipment, an R&D centre, and a centre of excellence

January 31, 2022 / 10:31 AM IST

Global oil and gas rigs firm Drillmec SpA, the Italian arm of Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd (Meil), is setting up a manufacturing hub at a cost of $200 million (approximately Rs 1,500 crore) in the outskirts of Hyderabad.

Drillmec SpA has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Telangana government on Monday morning in the presence of its chief executive officer Simone Trevisani, Telangana Industries Minister K Taraka Rama Rao and Industries Secretary Jayesh Ranjan.

The Meil arm said the global hub will include a manufacturing facility for oil rigs and ancillary equipment, a research and development centre, and a centre of excellence to impart training in cutting-edge technology.

Drillmec SpA, which had developed many innovative designs and acquired several patents globally, is primarily into design, manufacturing and supply of drilling and workover rigs for onshore and offshore applications, apart from a wide range of spare parts for drilling equipment.

The Telangana government’s industries and commerce department and Drillmec SpA have agreed to float a special purpose vehicle for setting up an equipment manufacturing unit, which could offer employment opportunities for around 2,500 people.

Hyderabad-headquartered multi-disciplinary conglomerate Meil, with Rs 18,770 crore revenues posted in the fiscal to March 2021 with an order book of over Rs 1.28 lakh crore by June 2021, has interests in defence, hydrocarbons, power, aviation, EV buses, irrigation and drinking water.

Drillmec SpA and Petraven SpA were the two Italian entities belonging to Trevi Group into the manufacture, design and operation of oil and gas rigs that Meil had acquired in 2020 for around Rs 720 crore.

These Italian acquisitions were aimed at an entry to foreign markets that also provides backward integration in the oil and gas projects worth around Rs 6,000 crore that the Hyderabad-based conglomerate secured from the Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) in 2019 for oilfields in Assam, Gujarat, Tripura and Tamil Nadu.

While Meil had secured a contract from ONGC to supply 47 rigs in all worth Rs 6,000 crore, Drillmec SpA had to date designed, manufactured and supplied nearly 600 oil and gas drilling rigs globally.

Meil had in April last year unveiled India’s first indigenously developed hydraulic rigs for the oil and gas sector where the advanced hydraulic technology helps in drilling oil wells to a depth of up to 6 kilometres from the surface. These rigs with a capacity of 1,500 horsepower were deployed at the Kalol oilfield near Ahmedabad for ONGC.

The company views that the indigenous development and manufacturing of drilling rigs would help India increase domestic oil production and reduce the oil import burden, thereby helping the domestic economy.

Drillmec SpA claims that its land-based drilling rigs are designed to work in harsh climatic conditions and environments and are capable of handling the most challenging client drilling programmes.

CR Sukumar is a senior journalist based in Hyderabad.