L&T ties up with NPCIL to make nuclear forgings

Engineering and construction firm Larsen & Toubro has announced a joint venture agreement with the Nuclear Power Corp of India to set up a Rs2,000-crore project to make forgings for nuclear power plants. The manufacturing facility is expected to come up at Hazira, Gujarat, to produce special steels and ultra heavy forgings.

This is said to be part of state-run NPCIL's extension of its indigenous programme to harness domestic potential for nuclear power equipment and components. It is learnt that NPCIL will hold only a small equity stake in the venture.

While L&T's Hazira facilities are equipped to produce forgings for the hydrocarbon and power sector, the standards and specification for nuclear forgings are altogether different and required an upgrade of the present facilities to accommodate larger dimensions of design, said a senior official. The present generation nuclear power plants require nearly 200 forgings of various sizes, tonnage and specifications.

Reactor vessel components, turbine rotors and steam generators are made from over 4,000 tonnes of steel forgings. For fabrication of the nuclear reactor vessel head alone, seven forgings weighing 500 tonnes are said to be needed.

A M Naik, chairman and managing director, L&T, recently said the company had already received orders for two steam generation units for nuclear power plants. More orders are expected.

The company has spent over Rs3,500 crore to build turbines, boilers and heavy forging shops, besides quite a few associated equipment manufacturing facilities. (Also see: L&T eyes Rs6,000 crore revenue from nuclear equipment)