Special Correspondent

To manufacture defence products and parts for Railways

VS to lay the foundations on January 18

To provide direct employment to 1,500 people

KOCHI: BEML Ltd., a public sector undertaking, will set up a new unit at the Kinfra Integrated Industrial Park at Kanjikode in Palakkad.

The new unit will manufacture defence products and parts for Railways.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan will lay the foundations for the new unit at Kanjikode on January 18. Defence Minister A.K. Antony will preside.

Industries Minister Elamaram Karim, Electricity Minister A.K. Balan, Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister T.K.A. Nair, and Industries Principal Secretary T. Balakrishnan will participate.

The first phase of the factory will come up on 161.87 hectares of land provided on a long-term lease by the Kerala Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Kinfra).

Kinfra is already in possession of the land at Sathyanathapalam, Kanjikode. Nearly 500 people will be given employment in the first phase, Kinfra officials said.

On completion of the final phase of the plant, to be spread over 404.68 hectares, the company will provide direct employment to nearly 1,500 people and indirect employment to more than 4,000 people.

Heavy equipment such as bulldozers and earthmovers and heavy vehicles meant for defence use will be manufactured at the plant.

It will be commissioned by 2012. BEML Ltd. was established in May 1964 for manufacture of rail coaches, spare parts and mining equipment at its Bangalore complex.

The company has been partially disinvested and the Union government currently owns 54 per cent of the total equity.

The remaining is held by the public, financial institutions, foreign institutional investors, banks and employees. BEML has been conferred with ‘mini-ratna’ status and is under the administrative control of the Ministry of Defence.

It is a multi-technology company, offering high-quality products for diverse sectors of economy such as coal, mining, steel, limestone, power, irrigation, construction, road building, aviation, defence, and railways.

It is at the forefront of the heavy engineering industry with a track record of growth and revenues for over four decades. The company has been awarded the ‘Golden Peacock Innovation Management Award’ for innovative management practices.

It is setting up a Research and Development Centre of Excellence for research in Metro Rail System in Bangalore. BEML has eight manufacturing units spread over four locations.

It achieved a sales turnover of Rs.2,713 crore and a pre-tax profit of Rs.348 crore during 2007-08. The export earnings touched Rs.200.62 crore.