NAGPUR: Soon after Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL) announced its defence hardware unit at Amravati, engineering PSU Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has also spoken of plans to acquire 300 acres in Bhandara district for a new plant. BHEL is one of biggest power plant equipment suppliers in the country.
In an expansion mode, the BHEL unit at Bhandara will manufacture structural fabrication units – a key component in a power plant boiler. The plant is expected to entail an investment of Rs 1,000 crore.
BHEL’s head of power sector in western region KS Mathur said the process has already begun, though no time frame can be cited since the project is in a preliminary stage. Sources in the company said the land has already been identified near Sakoli, a tehsil place in the district.
BHEL comes under the ministry of heavy industries, presently headed by Praful Patel, Member of Parliament from Bhandara-Gondia. Patel is keen to get some investment in his constituency, which is one of the factors for BHEL having chosen Bhandara as the site.
Currently, structural fabrication units are made at BHEL’s plant at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu. The work will be shifted to Bhandara and the capacity at Tiruchirapalli will be utilized for some other purpose, BHEL officials said.
A request has already been put up before the district collectorate and Maharashtra Industries Development Corporation (MIDC), to acquire land for BHEL. A chunk of the area is private farmland. The mode of acquisition, whether through compulsory take over or negotiations, has not been decided yet, said a source in the state government.
The BHEL plans have enthused local industries, who expect the unit to provide a boost to ancillaries. President of Butibori Manufacturers Association (BMA) Hemant Ambaselkar says this will provide an opportunity to local units, as many of them take up assignments from the power sector.
Although Nagpur would have been the ideal choice, due to the Butibori industrial estate coming up here, Bhandara too is of logistical advantage to the company as its clients are spread all over the country.
Former president of Vidarbha Industries Association Pravin Tapadia sees this as an opportunity for the local industrialists to get exposure to the latest technology used by this PSU.
Regarding projections for current fiscal, Mathur said BHEL plans to install equipment equivalent to generation capacity of 5,000MW in the western region. BHEL, which is setting up a major part of NTPC’s power plant at Mouda, expects to commission the first unit of 500MW by the end of this month, he said. The second one of similar capacity will come up during the year.
The other projects include India bulls’ plants at Amravati and Nashik as well as those of Mahagenco at Bhusawal and Chandrapur. The company has also bagged an order from Nagpur-based Abhijeet Group for setting up a captive power plant in Vishakapatanam.
BHEL is eyeing turnover of Rs 2,000 crore from the western region during the current fiscal, a hike of 30% from the previous year, with a chunk of it coming from Maharashtra. With a number of power plants coming up in Vidarbha, the company sees it as a lucrative market.