Sunday, August 4, 2013

PM asks BHEL to venture into solar energy biz; admits it's a tough call

BHEL chairman B Prasada Rao explaining a point to PM
PRIME Minister Manmohan Singh has asked Maharatna public sector enterprise, BHEL to take a lead in solar energy in terms of power generation and development of solar power technology in India. “This is a difficult commercial decision, but well worth taking in the long-term interest of our country,” Singh said while launching BHEL’s two units of high pressure boiler plant in Thirumayam of Tamil Nadu on Friday. The appeal has come in the backdrop of the government’s attempt to develop…
20,000 MW of solar power generating capacity by the end of the 13th Five Year Plan under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. The BHEL’s units have come up in finance minister P Chidambaram’s constituency. Here are some of PM’s observations made during the occasion.
• Bharat Heavy Electricals is one of our Maharatna public sector enterprises. It has played an extremely important part in the industrial development of our country, particularly in the energy sector. I believe that with the operationalization of these two units, the company has achieved an annual manufacturing capacity of 20000 MW.
• We need to expand manufacturing substantially both in absolute terms and as a proportion of our Gross Domestic Product. Only this can enable us to generate productive employment for our large and growing labour-force. BHEL is not only one of our foremost manufacturing companies, but is also contributing to our efforts for expanding manufacturing by helping us make our economy more competitive.
• The government is targeting a capacity addition of more than one hundred thousand MW, including renewables, in the 12th Five Year Plan. In the 11th Five Year Plan, the country added around 55,000 MW of generation capacity which is more than twice the addition achieved in the 10th Five Year Plan. Out of this Bharat Heavy Electricals alone accounted for almost half. This shows the critical role that the company plays in one of the key sectors of our economy.
• I understand that spread over 3 lakh square meters, the company’s (BHEL) Trichy complex is one of the biggest in Asia as a whole.
• In our country, more than 50% of power comes from coal-based generation, which is a major emitter of greenhouse gases. I am very happy that Bharat Heavy Electricals has taken initiatives for the development of ultra-super critical technology in line with our mission for deployment of clean coal technologies.

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