It’s a proud moment for this Udupi company

Udupi-based Bell-O-Seal Valves Pvt. Ltd. was chosen by the NPCIL to substitute imported components under Make in India initiative.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

While Kakrapar Atomic Energy Plant-3 in Gujarat, said to be the country’s biggest indigenously developed pressurised heavy water reactor, attained first criticality on Wednesday, Karnataka’s coastal district Udupi took pride in being part of this project.

For, Udupi-based Bell-O-Seal Valves Pvt. Ltd., an MSME, catered to the entire requirement of isolation valves and 3-valve manifolds of Kakrapar-3 under Make in India programme. These valves were used to shut off flow in high pressure heavy water instrument lines in nuclear power stations and were manufactured for the first time in the country by Bell-O-Seal as acknowledged by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL).

Located near Santhekatte, off Udupi, Bell-O-Seal employs around 400 people in its two units. Company director (HR) B.K. Narayan told The Hindu, “Once the Kakrapar-3 criticality test was passed through on Wednesday, the chief scientist congratulated us and we too were elated for being a part of the project.” NPCIL approached Bell-O-Seal a few years back with its requirement and the company accepted the challenge.

Valves were manufactured to the requirement that went through various stages of testing under different conditions so as to withstand any calamity, including earthquake, he said. The company developed new welding procedures and got its welders qualified as per the ASME sec IX, hydro and pneumatic followed by helium leak test. The products underwent endurance test to guarantee valve performance for 40 years inside the heavy water reactor and also pre-seismic, seismic, and post-seismic tests.

Saving costs

Mr. Narayan said the valves were being imported from European countries earlier and their indigenous manufacturing had saved costs considerably. The cost of indigenously produced valves is just 10% of what was being imported. Bell’s valves are being installed in all other projects under construction, including Kakrapar-4 and Rawatbhata-7 and 8 units at Rajasthan.

The company was founded by Gilbert Salins 29 years ago and presently Rakesh Kumar Salins is its managing director, Mr. Narayan said.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 10:09:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/its-a-proud-moment-for-this-udupi-company/article32187476.ece

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