BHEL Tiruchi is not in a position to follow in the footsteps of its sister unit at Ranipet to establish its own power plant. The Ranipet unit had announced last month its plan to set up a 5 MW solar power plant in its boiler auxiliary plant complex for captive consumption. The photo voltaic solar plant, based on crystalline silicon technology, is to be established on an expanse of 25 acres.
Land is not a problem. With the photo voltaic modules that BHEL’s electronic division in Bangalore manufactures, establishing a solar plant is not beyond the realm of possibility. In fact, last year, BHEL Tiruchi announced its plan to install a 2 MW solar plant at an investment of Rs. 17–18 crore.
BHEL Tiruchi, which was in a position to manufacture heat exchangers, planned to secure solar panels from its Bangalore unit. BHEL Tiruchi's plan was to come out with a new product: solar thermal, whereby heat generated by solar panels would be transferred to heat exchangers for producing steam that would drive turbines for power generation.
“We are yet to work out the possibility since our requirement (for self-consumption) is in the range of 20 MW,” Executive Director A.V. Krishnan said, when asked if BHEL Tiruchi would emulate its Ranipet unit.
Meanwhile, BHEL Small Industries’ Association (BHELSIA) is in an extremely difficult situation, with several of its units on the verge of closure due to power crisis.