BHEL Power Sector Eastern Region is geared to provide this service to other regions too

The eastern region office of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) has taken a new initiative by starting to provide logistics and multi-modal transportation in an integrated manner to the remote areas, thus making it possible to implement large projects there.

M. Rajeev Kumar, Executive Director (ER), told The Hindu that starting with the major gas-based project at Palatona in Tripura's capital Agartala, BHEL Power Sector Eastern Region was now geared to provide this service to other regions too. “What started out of compulsion has now opened windows of opportunity,” he said.

Altogether 190 consignments had to be moved for the implementation of the 2x363.3 MW gas-based project, billed among the largest in India. The project is coming up as a joint venture of ONGC and the Tripura Power Development Corporation in which IL&FS also has a stake.

The equipment for this project was supplied by various manufacturing units of BHEL. There were also some imported components from Siemens, Germany, which could not be transported through road alone. So the Central Government signed a treaty with the Bangladesh Government to get permission to use its road and waterways (but not its bridges).

“This project may not have been possible and certainly would have been delayed by a year had we tried to move it through Assam”, he said as movement through hilly terrains was needed.

So far, BHEL has helped implement eight gas-based projects in Agartala and three more are under implementation. But none of these projects' capacity exceeds 25 MW as equipment movement was a problem. “We had to use barges to bypass 16 bridges,” he said. The project is slated to start power generation by June.

Four north-eastern States — Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Manipur — would buy power from the 726 MW Palatona plant and the Northeast Power Trading Company had already started erecting transmission line from Palatona to Bongaigaon in Assam, official sources said.

Having tasted this success, BHEL PS ER's transport services are now in demand and it has harnessed this expertise for the super critical Barh project in Bihar and the Neepco Monarchak project in Tripura. It has now been requested by BHEL Haridwar unit to carry out the logistics and transportation of imported consignments for the Barh STPP, Allahabad, which comes under the northern region.

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