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Nuclear deal to fuel BHEL expansion

State-run BHEL is eyeing a goldmine of contracts, courtesy the much-delayed nuclear deal that now appears close to execution, reports Samiran Saha.
Hindustan Times | By Samiran Saha, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 10, 2008 09:17 PM IST

State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) is eyeing a goldmine of contracts, courtesy the much-delayed nuclear deal that now appears close to execution.

The company is hoping to get high-value orders from the world's leading atomic energy equipment makers that are looking to sell reactors and projects here once the nuclear deal comes into force, enabling India to access the global market for nuclear fuel and technology.

“We have the capability of making critical components required in a nuclear power reactor and we are looking at countries that produce nuclear power,” a senior BHEL official said on the condition of anonymity. “We expect our orders to come from developed countries like US, France and Canada.” He declined to put any estimate on the value of the contracts.

Once the nuclear deal comes into force, it “would boost sentiments for power and allied capital goods sector,” said Puneet Bambha, analyst, Angel Broking. “Though difficult to quantify the materiality and the timeline of the benefits at this juncture, few companies including BHEL, L&T, and NTPC, would tend to be the key beneficiaries.”

More than 400 nuclear power plants are operating across 30 countries and about 16 per cent of the world energy is generated from nuclear sources. BHEL is tapping both the replacement as well as the planned new nuclear plants worldwide.

The company operates a plant in Tiruchy that can manufacture reactor components comprising four steam generators and reactor heads each for a 500-mw nuclear power plant. It can also make nuclear turbines at its plant in Bhopal. “We are looking for a technology collaborator to step up the manufacturing facility of steam generators and reactor heads to cater to over 1,200 mw nuclear power plants,” the official said.

BHEL already supplies atomic power components to Bhaba Atomic Research Centre and Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited — the sole agency to design, construct, commission and operate nuclear power plants in the country.

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