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BHEL-PSSR's new benchmarks in project execution

By Our Special Correspondent

CHENNAI, APRIL 7. New benchmarks in project execution and successful commercialisation of innovative technologies marked the performance of the Power Sector-Southern Region (PSSR) of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) during fiscal 2003-04.

PSSR, which is the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) wing of BHEL in charge of projects in the southern region of India as also abroad, however, recorded a lower turnover and linked parameters during the year as a result of finalisation of award of the Bellary Thermal Power Station (1x500 MW) of the Karnataka Power Corporation. The turnover during the year was Rs. 221 crores against Rs. 340 crores during 2002-03 and it had projected a turnover of Rs. 310 crores for the current year.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, N. Kamalanathan, Executive Director and CEO of BHEL-PSSR, said PSSR achieved new records in cycle time reduction during the past year. The Talcher unit-IV 500 MW set of the NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation) was commissioned in 37 months and 22 days, which was the fastest commissioning for a 500 MW unit. The 500 MW unit-7 of the Ramagundam project was hydraulic-tested (a major milestone) in 14 months and 22 days, surpassing all previous timings achieved in the case of 500 MW sets. Previous records set by PSSR in pressure parts testing included 15 months at Talcher-III and 19 months at Simhadri-1.

On the technology front, PSSR engineered and manufactured a silencer for the steam blowing operation at Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL) using the scrap material at site and bringing down noise to the acceptable 90-decibel level.

A new organic chemical EDTA (ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid) developed along with BHEL-Tiruchi was used (in place of hydrochloric acid) for conducting environment-friendly chemical cleaning of boiler tubes for the first time in India at the captive power plant of National Aluminium Company (Nalco). In collaboration with the Welding Training and Research Institute of BHEL, PSSR had nearly achieved Six Sigma (zero defect) in a sophisticated operation called P-91 welding.

Mr. Kamalanathan said the ageing of the workforce in BHEL accounted for the decline in per-employee turnover and profits during the year under review.

BHEL-PSSR added 941 MW to the grid during 2003-04 in seven projects varying in size from 500 MW thermal to 20 MW cogeneration. Major orders on hand now included 1x500 MW Bellary TPS for Karnataka PCL on EPC basis, 2x210 MW Rayalaseema TPS Stage-II for APGENCO, 2x500 MW Sipat TPP Stage II for NTPC and 2x50 MW Kuttiyadi hydel (Kerala).

PSSR, which was engaged in erecting an electrostatic precipitator in Thailand, was also likely to bag the Gulf Stream project (4x350 MW) and a gas-based 2x125 project, both in Libya, a 110 MW combined cycle project in Brunei and a 36 MW cogeneration project in Mauritius.

Asked bout Skoda's competition for the Bellary project, Mr. Kamalanathan said BHEL's parameters such as heat rate and cost were far superior to those of Skoda.

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