The state-run power plant equipment maker has also beaten India's L&T to emerge as the lowest bidder for the plant to be built at Khulna, 450 km from Dhaka. The deal would be...
the biggest overseas power project for the PSU major.
Premier export finance institution, the EXIM Bank will lend 70 percent funding of the project's costs at an interest rate of around 1 percent above Libor. Libor is a benchmark rate that some of the world’s leading banks charge each other for short-term loans.
The government also supported Bhel by persuading Bangladesh to scrap a contentious clause in the bid. To begin with the project promoters -Bangladesh India Friendship Power Company, a joint venture (JV) between NTPC and Bangladesh Power Development Board -wanted to qualify only suppliers who had a 500 mw plant operating overseas.
This would have disqualified Bhel since it does not have any power plant of that size operating abroad. This clause was scrapped after New Delhi took up the matter with Dhaka. Earlier, Bhel has been lagging Chinese competitors.
The groundwork for the power plant was laid during the 2010 visit of Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina to India. An agreement envisaging wide-ranging energy ties between the two sides was signed during the visit. India has laid a transmission line to link the grids of the two countries and supplying 500 MW through it.
Bhel, a Maharatna PSU, is an integrated power plant equipment manufacturer and one of the largest engineering and manufacturing company of its kind in India engaged in the design, engineering, manufacture, construction, testing, commissioning and servicing of a wide range of products and services for the core sectors of the economy.
The PSU assumes more importance in view of Narendra Modi’s Make in India and Skilling India initiatives that seek to make the nation self-reliant in engineering manufacturing. Bhel was formed with the onus to make the country self-reliant in manufacturing of heavy electrical equipment. Today, with 20,000 MW per annum capacity for power plant equipment manufacturing, Bhel's mammoth size of operations is evident from its widespread network of 17 manufacturing units, two repair units, four regional offices, eight service centres, eight overseas offices, six JVs, 15 regional marketing centres and current project execution at more than 150 project sites across India and abroad. Bhel also has a widespread overseas footprint in 76 countries with cumulative overseas installed capacity of Bhel manufactured power plants nearing 10,000 MW including Malaysia, Oman, Libya, Iraq, the UAE, Bhutan, Egypt and New Zealand.