Government wants BHEL to acquire nuclear technology

Mumbai: The government wants BHEL to get into nuclear power equipment manufacture and play the role of a facilitator for acquiring technology ahead of the ratification of the Indo-US nuclear deal and resumption of nuclear fuel supplies from abroad.

"Some people (nuclear power equipment companies) came and met me. We have asked them to talk to Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL)," minister of heavy industries and public enterprises Sontosh Mohan Dev said, adding "Nuclear power is a safe option while other modes of power production have problems. The navratna company should get into this."

Dev also received a dividend cheque of Rs 33 crore from BHEL - the third installment of a total dividend of Rs 240 crore paid by the company in fiscal 2005-06.

He said the power ministry was also preparing a note for the cabinet to reserve a part of the contracts of the mega power projects for BHEL on nomination basis.

"BHEL already has a 75 per cent share of the country's total generation capacity and its profits are good. It is in a strong position to take on these mega projects," he said. The power ministry, he said, had promised some contracts to BHEL in lieu of being kept out of the purview of purchase preference policy.