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Think local, go global: BHEL to shop in China

The power equipment maker plans to open a base in China to source sub-assemblies and raw materials. In the process, it will become the first public sector company to open up a representative office in China.

business Updated: Jan 05, 2009 20:45 IST
Anupama Airy

If Bollywood can go to China, why not BHEL?

While the country’s frenetic film industry celebrates a Look-East globalisation policy with the anticipated release of Chandni Chowk to China next week, BHEL Ltd, whose origin as Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd marked a high-point in the closed-loop Nehru era, is also raring to go there.

The power equipment maker plans to open a base in China to source sub-assemblies and raw materials. In the process, it will become the first public sector company to open up a representative office in China.

"My efforts to convince the leading Chinese power equipment firms like the Shanghai Electric Corp, Dongfang and Harbin Power to set up manufacturing facilities in India may not have succeeded but our BHEL will soon set up an office in China for some specialised castings, forgings and other items for its power turbines and generators,” Minister of State for Power Jairam Ramesh told HT.

However, BHEL’s director (finance), CS Verma, said the proposal on the China office was yet to be finalised, and would be taken up only after a board meeting due on January 29.

The strategy is to help BHEL compete better and at the same time bridge India’s trade deficit with China. Power equipment imports from China by private power producers has been a major worry for the government. More than 20 per cent of the capacity to be set up in the 2007-2012 period is expected to come from Chinese gear.