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Toshiba-JSW kick-starts power equipment plant in Chennai

The combine has invested Rs 650 crore so far and the plant will produce equipment for super critical thermal projects in the capacities of between 500 MW and 1000 MW.

KR Balasubramanyam        Last Updated: February 21, 2012  | 19:00 IST

KR Balasubramanyam
KR Balasubramanyam
In 2008, then chairman of National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) T Sankaralingam had famously said India needed many BHELs if the country's power sector were to grow. Those days, BHEL frequently came under flak for failing to deliver boiler, turbine and generators on time, to power projects, and thereby, causing time overruns. The public sector enterprise was blamed for the country missing its capacity addition targets.

The development led to two developments: One, Chinese firms like Shanghai Electric, Harbin Power Engineering etc., bagging big-ticket orders. Two, leading Indian companies sewing up joint ventures with overseas manufacturers to make the equipment on the Indian soil. Examples: L&T- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Alstom- Bharat Forge, Hitachi-BGR Energy etc.

One such joint venture came to fruition on February 12, Sunday, with the commissioning of Toshiba-JSW facility to manufacture turbine and generators for thermal power projects in Chennai. The combine has invested Rs 650 crore so far and the plant will produce equipment for super critical thermal projects in the capacities of between 500 MW and 1000 MW. (In India, the standard configurations are 660 MW and 800 MW. While Tata Power has gone for 800 MW configuration for its Mundra plant, Reliance Power has gone for 660 MW configuration for its four projects.) The Toshiba-JSW facility will have a production capacity of 3000 MW by the end of this fiscal year and, the company plans to double the capacity by 2015 targeting sales of Rs 2000 crore by then. The firm is currently in the final stages of processing the tenders from NTPC for power projects in Uttar Pradesh and in Karnataka.

The Toshiba-JSW will ship its initial production to the customers in India, but will tap export opportunities in the emerging economies in South East Asia, Middle East and Africa for the subsequent output. Initially the rotor blades for the turbines will be made in Chennai while the rest of the major parts will come from Japan. Once the Indian industries become ready for providing steel for large-scale heavy weight forging, the Toshibha-JSW expects overall steam turbine to be made from the Indian material.

Thermal power equipment manufacturers are bullish because India's thermal capacity addition has been consistently rising. In the 10th Plan period (2002-07), it was 25,417 MW. The same went up to 59,693 MW during (2007-12). The new thermal capacity is expected to be 75,200 MW during the 12th Plan period (2012-17). According to estimates, the Indian power generation equipment market is expected to see a demand growth of more than 16,000 MW per year in the decade from 2007 to 2017. Coal-fired thermal power projects will account for over 60 per cent of this projected capacity growth. The global market is also expected to see continued growth in demand for thermal power generation equipment in growing markets, to about 84,000MW per annum by the year 2020.

On Sunday, JSW Energy Chairman and Managing Director Sajjan Jindal said the new venture was in line with his conglomerate's strategy to be present in the entire value chain of power business from equipment manufacturing to generation, transmission, distribution and energy trading. "Toshiba JSW's manufacturing facility will further contribute to the development of local industry and will contribute to achieving self-sufficiency in sourcing of power equipment in India," Jindal said on the occasion. The JSW Energy, a listed firm, has an operational generating capacity of 2600 MW and is building new plants of 540 MW.


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