PM lays foundation stone for NTPC-BHEL plant

TIRUPATI: Laying the foundation stone of a Rs 6,000 crore power equipment manufacturing plant near here, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the nation needs to bridge the gap between demand and supply of electricity for sustained economic growth.

"Availability of affordable power is of critical importance to development of agriculture and industries," Singh said.

Stressing upon the need to bridge the gap between demand and supply of electricity, he said that it was the "only way to achieve higher rates of economic growth on sustainable basis."

India has installed capacity of over 1.62 lakh MW, and the power deficit is about 13-14 per cent. The government plans to add over 78,000 MW by March 2012, the end of the current 11th Plan Period.

The new plant, NTPC BHEL Power Projects Pvt Ltd (NBPPL), will go on stream in 2014-15 and produce equipment to support 5,000 MW of power generation capacity, Singh said after laying the foundation stone at Mannavaram near here.

This will be India’s first integrated plant that will manufacture turbines, generators and boilers.

India has ambitious power generation capacity addition targets in the 11th (2007-12) and 12th (2012-17) Five Year Plan periods, Singh said, adding that large additional capacity targets mean big demand for power equipment.

"I’m very happy that our public sector has come forward to take lead in manufacturing power equipment to help us achieve our target in power sector," he said.

NBPPL is a 50:50 joint venture between state-owner power generator NTPC Ltd and equipment manufacturer Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL).

Singh said the joint venture brings together vast experience and expertise of NTPC and BHEL.

"It will provide direct employment to 6,000 men and women and indirect employment to another 25,000 people," he said, adding, "I greatly appreciate the vision of Andhra Pradesh to have large industrial hub around this plant."

Singh added, "I’m sure that this innovative manufacturing plant will go a long way in improving economic condition of people of this backward area."

NBPPL Chairman and Managing Director C P Singh said the JV would help meet huge emerging demand for setting up of new power projects in the country.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah could not attend as he was indisposed.(IANS)

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