Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), Tiruchi, will focus more on developing clean fuel, carbon capture and storage technologies in the years to come. “We have made strides in achieving this through development of integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) technology,” said Mr A.V. Krishnan, Executive Director of BHEL Tiruchi complex.
The public sector power plant equipment major has also developed advanced ultra super critical equipment, aimed for cutting emissions at power units. The first thermal power plant using this technology will come up in Vijayawada. Though the cost, at Rs 9 crore a MW, is slightly more expensive, it will pay off with much lower running cost and carbon emission, he said.
After setting up a pilot project of 6.2 MW IGCC plant in Tiruchi, BHEL scaled up the design for the 182-MW Vijayawada plant. “Once all necessary clearances in place, the project can go on stream, hopefully by 2016-17,” he said.
According to Mr R. Kumar, General Manager (Engineering), BHEL Tiruchi, the efficiency level — a measure of how much heat energy embedded in coal is converted into electricity — in the proposed plant will improve to 42-43 per cent compared with the present 36-38 per cent. BHEL has also come out with design for 800 MW advanced ultra super critical (AUSC) steam generator.
The technology is being developed in association with Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research and NTPC. This will further reduce emissions in power plants.
“We will do material testing for AUSC steam generator to evaluate the properties relating to corrosion and resistance very soon,” he said.
The Tiruchi complex achieved 18 per cent growth in turnover at Rs 14,600 crore in 2011-12 from Rs 12,399 crore in the previous year. Profit before tax stood at Rs 3,120 crore.
Mr Krishnan attributed the drop in profits to rising input costs and pressure on pricing. He explained that saying BHEL used to sell boilers at Rs 2-2.5 crore, which has been reduced to Rs 1.5 crore currently, thanks tocompetition, particularly from China.
The company has earmarked Rs 300 crore capex for the current financial year. A chunk of this will be spent on modernisation of seamless steel tube plant and in capacity augmentation in some of its plants.
According to Mr Krishnan, its Thirumayam plant (near Tiruchi) – to manufacture pipes for boiler and non-boiler applications - will go on stream by the end of this month.
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