Public sector major Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) is all set to supply about 50 locomotives to the Indian Railways and
is expected to earn Rs 300 crore in revenues from the deal likely to be signed soon. The deal is expected to end a long drought of orders for BHEL's locomotive unit.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, A K Puri, chairman and managing director of BHEL, said, "We are in discussions with the Indian Railways to
supply locomotives. The Ministry of Railways has already announced in its budget that it would be procuring about 150 locomotives. The
modalities for the supply from BHEL are likely to be firmed up by next month and the deal would be inked soon."
He said BHEL's Jhansi locomotive manufacturing unit has a capacity to manufacture about 50 locomotives per annum. The Railways are likely to procure 5000 horse power (HP) locomotives, the highest grade made by BHEL.
"BHEL has manufactured and supplied large numbers of electric locomotives (upto 5000 HP) to Indian Railways. However, for the last
more than five years there were no orders from the Railways," said Puri.
"With Railways now targeting to secure and enhance its share of the transportation market aggressively, we expect more orders
to come for high HP engines," he added. He is also quick to add that it did not mean that the Jhansi unit was or would be lying idle in absence of orders from Railways. BHEL had been supplying Diesel Electric locomotives ranging from 350 HP to 2600 HP to cement, steel and fertilizer plants, thermal power stations, coalfields, ports and other medium and large industries. But these were limited and few in number.
The next big target for BHEL in this segment, Puri said, would be the international market. This would be in African countries that are
expanding their railways network and have the capacity for more locomotives, he said.