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Bhel to buy stakes in power projects

Calcutta, June 19: Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (Bhel) may pick up stakes in new power projects as part of its bidding strategy for supplying equipment.

“We are planning to pick up equity and extend credit to power projects as part of our bidding strategy. As an equipment supplier, we want to have some stakes in the projects,” a senior company official said.

The company would bid for National Thermal Power Corporation’s super-critical projects that are being executed using the 660-MW technology and for Reliance’s Rs 10,000-crore project at Dadri.

However, the official did not divulge whether the public sector company is interested in picking up stakes in these two projects. “We are examining possibilities. Nothing has been decided as yet,” said the official.

The utility will rely on its tie-up with Siemens of Germany when bidding starts for super-critical thermal projects of 660-1000 MW capacity.

Bhel was planning to foray into the distribution business with a model project in Bhopal, the official said.

“We are already associated with the distribution companies and state electricity boards (SEBs) as an equipment supplier and a system solutions provider. However, we are also looking for suitable parties for taking up distribution in a big way,” the official said.

The company has already been purchasing power from SEBs and distributing the same to its employees in some of the major townships in Bhopal, Hyderabad and others. However, collection has not been a problem in these townships as the customers are Bhel’s own employees.

“So before the company decides to enter the distribution business full-fledgedly, it will have to evaluate all risks associated with this business. The company may also appoint a consultant for handling the distribution business,” the official added.

The company is also planning to create a strategic business unit to keep a record of all transactions of energy purchased and sold in the townships.

The company is exploring export opportunities in West Asia, southeast Asian nations, CIS, east Europe and African countries. Bhel has executed projects and supply contracts to over 55 countries.

Bhel is also giving a renewed thrust on high growth business areas like after-market services with special focus on renovation and modernisation, international business through O&M services, emerging as a service centre for international OEMs and establishing overseas manufacturing and assembly centres.

Mejia units

PTI adds: Bhel has received a letter of intent from the West Bengal Power Development Corporation for supplying power plant equipment for the fifth and sixth units of thermal power stations coming up at Mejia.

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