Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will soon lay foundation-stone for the Rs. 6,000 crore power equipment manufacturing plant at Mannavaram in Andhra Pradesh, Union Minister for Heavy Industries Vilasrao Deshmukh said on Monday.

NTPC-BHEL Power Projects Pvt. Ltd., a joint venture between National Thermal Power Corporation and Bharat Heavy Electricals would build the facility at a cost of Rs. 6,000 crore at Mannavaram near temple-town Srikalahasthi in Chittoor district.

The Prime Minister was originally scheduled to lay the foundation-stone for the project on September 6 last year but it was put off following the death of then Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

The State government had allotted 750 acres of land at Mannavaram for the project at a nominal price of Rs 100 per acre as it would provide direct employment to 6,000 besides indirect employment to over 25,000 people.

Deshmukh, who presented a cheque for Rs. 2.5 crore to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister’s Flood Relief Fund on behalf of BHEL said, there were no plans to shift the project from the State owing to the Telangana agitation and the Prime Minister would lay the foundation stone soon.

The first phase of the NTPC-BHEL project is expected to be ready by 2011-12 and the second phase by 2013-14.

The NTPC-BHEL project would be much bigger than the three-decade old Ramachandrapuram unit of BHEL, which has only 200 ancillaries offering employment to about 5,500. The Mannavaram project would enable setting up of over 400 ancillary units.

BHEL Chairman and Managing Director B.P. Rao, Rajya Sabha member T. Subbirami Reddy and others were present on the occasion.