PM asks BHEL to increase number of shifts to meet power equipment targets

Mejia: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has suggested that domestic power equipment giant, BHEL, enhance production capacity by commencing an additional third shift at its plants. This, he has said, may be necessary to ensure that the targeted 78,000 MW power supply addition is met during the 11th plan period, according to power minister, Sushil Kumar Shinde, who revealed this information to reporters.

Currently, BHEL produces 7,000 MW of equipment a year by operating two shifts. An additional shift would help to increase capacity to an annual rate of 10,500 MW, which will add up to 52,500 MW over the next five years, the minister said.

BHEL is investing Rs 3,200 crore in the 11th plan period to augment capacity to 15,000 MW annually. However, the government may not depend entirely on BHEL to meet the shortfall and will seek investments in power equipment manufacture to meet the gap, Shinde said.

Meanwhile, the foundation stones for a 1,000 MW (2x500 MW) expansion programme of the Mejia thermal power station and 1,200 MW (2x600 MW) Raghunathpur thermal power station in Bankura and Purulia districts respectively have been laid. These projects are expected to supply bulk power to Delhi during the Commonwealth Games in 2010.