recorded a turnover of Rs 15,003 crore during 2012-13 (Rs 14,689 crore for 2011-12) and earned a profit before tax of Rs 3193 crore (Rs 3172 crore).
Executive Director A V Krishnan (AVK) informed media persons that in the face of severe power cuts affecting the large concentration of vendors in Tamil Nadu, the unit managed to maintain tonnage at 5.5 lakh, around the same level as of the previous year.
The Tiruchi complex includes the High Pressure Boiler Plant and the Seamless Steel Tube Plant at Tiruchi, a Piping Unit at Chennai, a new Power Plant Piping Unit at Thirumayam in Pudukottai district for producing power plant piping and the Industrial Valves Plant at Goindwal in Punjab.
The Tiruchi complex accounts for 30 per cent of the BHEL’s total turnover of Rs 50,015 crore. In terms of profit, its share is nearly 50 per cent.
During the year 10,340 MW of thermal and captive power plant equipment were commissioned. This includes 9328 MW of utility equipment. The first 600 MW unit was synchronised for the North Chennai unit of TANGEDCO. IE remembers the first boiler of BHEL commissioned at the TNEB unit at Ennore for a capacity of 60 MW in 1971. What a journey !
Though order flow was modest at just Rs 7585 crore during 2012-13, Krishnan expressed satisfaction over firm orders received for 12 super critical boilers with another 12 in the pipeline. The new orders have a good share of private utilities.
The considerable expertise built in boiler technology has enabled BHEL to upgrade on its own the design, engineering and manufacturing from 500 MW set to 600 MW. Likewise, when a customer demanded 700 MW set, BHEL upgraded its technology for 660 MW sets. Krishnan pointed to the corporation starting with 30-60 MW sets in the 1950s and progressively perfected the technology for 100-120 MW through 200-250 MW and 500 MW capacities.
With orders for the 12th plan firming up, the position is expected to improve.
Right from the earlier days, BHEL-T has been focusing on training and other aspects of development of human resources and R&D. Krishnan pointed to the record 4.39 lakh man-days of training completed during the year.
Acute shortage of welders…
The Welding Research Institute (WRI) provided a glimpse of such training imparted to create high quality welders in huge demand. The largest such facility, WRI, continues with research and development work in welding. Large fabricators and manufacturing units in the automotive, power, construction, defence and transportation segments make use of the facilities. WRI also offers consultancy and weld audit. General Manager R Easwaran of WRI pointed to the demand for high quality welders and acute shortage, of 40-50 per cent, experienced in most construction sites. WRI trains around 1000 a year. Training for artisans extends to two weeks. The 48 welding booths are well-equipped and there is copious availability of required material for welding.
The welding experts pointed to the need for further expansion of capacity and also to set up regional welding centres.
R&D focus on ultra critical boilers
BHEL-T has been spending handsome amounts on R&D. Last year R&D spend was a record Rs 415 crore. The attention paid to improve the combustion efficiency of coal has brought about substantial improvements through new technology and new products. The current emphasis includes R&D on 800 MW ultra critical boilers. P S Gurucharan and D
Ramakrishnan explained the study of materials and processes that will meet the requirements of boilers to operate at temperatures in excess of 374 deg C and pressures in excess of 220.64 bar. Krishnan expressed confidence over stabilising these technologies by 2017.