While focussing attention on super-critical boiler sets, the challenge of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) lies in increasing efficiency and reducing emission from the coal powered plants.

The 75 per cent to 100 per cent capacity additions that the nation has planned during the 12th and 13th five-year plans is expected to be mainly on the super-critical platform. The BHEL has signed understandings with power majors like Alstom and Siemens for enhancing efficiency of the super-critical sets, C. S. Verma, Director – Finance, BHEL, said on Monday, inaugurating ManTRA 2k9(Manufacturing Technology – Realms Ahead), a two-day workshop organised by the Welding Research Institute of the BHEL, Tiruchi, the Indian Welding Society, Southern Zone, and the Indian Institute of Metals, Tiruchi Chapter.

Mr. Verma said there was tremendous potential for growth of power sector on the country, against the backdrop of India’s requirement of 40,000 to 45,000 MW capacity additions every year till 2032 to sustain its seven per cent economic growth rate. The country has planned capacity addition of one lakh MW in the 12th plan period, 1.5 lakh MW in the 13th plan period and 1.97 lakh MW in the 14th plan period, he said.

India with per capita power consumption of only 635 units compared to 2,160 in China and 14,000 in USA, has to surge ahead in capacity enhancement. Though India and China started off at the same level of installed capacities of 3,000 MW each in 1950, the capacity of China was now eight lakh MW compared to India’s 1.5 lakh MW.

Mr. Verma saw a huge potential for progress in the country’s plan to increase allocation for infrastructure expansion to 10 per cent of GDP by 2017. During the 11th plan period, thirty per cent of the allocation of 500 billion US dollars for infrastructure expansion was earmarked for the electricity sector, he said.

S. Ramasundaram, Principal Secretary, Public Works Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, the guest of honour, observed that the attention was back on the manufacturing sector in the scenario of economic crisis. The lesson was that a direct leap from the primary sector (agriculture) to tertiary sector (service) was not possible. The growth of the tertiary sector, IT industry for instance, was dependent on then progress of the secondary sector (manufacturing). Citing the instance of China, Mr. Ramasundaram said that manufacturing sector was key for the growth of a large country like India. Progress of manufacturing sector and infrastructure improvements must take place simultaneously, he said, exuding hope that the workshop will foster new thoughts for speeding up the growth. Mr. Ramasundaram handed over the first copy of the proceedings to R. Sundar, Director of Boilers, Tamil Nadu.

Presiding over, the Executive Director of BHEL, Tiruchi, A.V. Krishnan emphasised that to sustain increasing growth targets, power plant manufacturers will have to adapt to newer materials, ensure smarter ways of material processing and bring in large scale automation, in line with the theme of cost, quality and safety, together with productivity of the products.

With the theme ‘Innovative Processing of Power Plant Materials’, the workshop encompassing a mini exhibition of latest products through 18 stalls, Dr. G.V. Memorial Address, and technical presentations has been designed to provide insights into and solutions to some of the technological challenges.