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Bhel may supply equipment for Afghan power sector

Bhel may supply equipment for Afghan power sector
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First Published: Thu, Sep 16 2010. 12 30 AM IST
Updated: Tue, Dec 14 2010. 07 49 PM IST
As part of India’s efforts to engage war-ravaged Afghanistan, state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel) may supply solar power generation modules for rural electrification in the southern province of Kandahar.
Bhel also plans to supply two power substations, together valued at around Rs.140 crore, as a grant.
“A request regarding solar power for village electrification was made by the Afghanistan government to India’s ministry of external affairs, which in turn was forwarded to Bhel,” said a senior Bhel executive who asked not to be identified. “We are looking at it.”
Bhel has an 8MW solar photo voltaic manufacturing capacity, with production costing Rs.16-17 crore per MW.
India has invested $1.3 billion (Rs.6,032 crore) for rebuilding Afghanistan and views the country as key to its strategic interests, not least because it is situated at the crossroads between South Asia and energy-rich Central Asia.
India has used its expertise in the power sector to help rebuild infrastructure. It constructed a 202km transmission link and the Chimtala substation with an investment of Rs.405 crore for the import of power from Uzbekistan to Kabul—a significant help for the power-starved country.
“While one substation has already been commissioned in Kabul, we are now planning to do two more substations at Doshi and Charikar in Afghanistan. This will help in improving the power situation there,” said a government official, requesting anonymity.
“We will be supplying the substations at locations around 150km from Kabul. The project will be funded through a government of India grant. The deliberations will be completed shortly,” said the Bhel executive.
Bhel had a net profit of Rs.4,287 crore on a revenue of Rs.34,050 crore in the 2010 fiscal, during which it won physical export orders worth Rs.3,571 crore.
“However, it is very difficult to do work in Afghanistan, due to the constant threat (of violence),” the Bhel executive added.
Indian workers in Afghanistan have increasingly come under attack from regrouped Taliban forces.
Vishnu Prakash, spokesman for the Indian foreign ministry, did not reply to a message left on his cellphone.
A. Munir Khan, commercial counsellor at the Afghanistan embassy in New Delhi, said: “There is no formal information on the same.”
India has been assisting Afghanistan in rebuilding infrastructure as part of its attempt to expand its regional influence.
It has built a 218km road link between Delaram and Zaranj, adjacent to Iran’s border. India is also developing the 42MW Salma hydroelectric project in Herat province, expected to be commissioned by 2010.
Elizabeth Roche contributed to this story.
As part of India’s efforts to engage war-ravaged Afghanistan, state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel) may supply solar power generation modules for rural electrification in the southern province of Kandahar.
Bhel also plans to supply two power substations, together valued at around Rs.140 crore, as a grant.
“A request regarding solar power for village electrification was made by the Afghanistan government to India’s ministry of external affairs, which in turn was forwarded to Bhel,” said a senior Bhel executive who asked not to be identified. “We are looking at it.”
Bhel has an 8MW solar photo voltaic manufacturing capacity, with production costing Rs.16-17 crore per MW.
India has invested $1.3 billion (Rs.6,032 crore) for rebuilding Afghanistan and views the country as key to its strategic interests, not least because it is situated at the crossroads between South Asia and energy-rich Central Asia.
India has used its expertise in the power sector to help rebuild infrastructure. It constructed a 202km transmission link and the Chimtala substation with an investment of Rs.405 crore for the import of power from Uzbekistan to Kabul—a significant help for the power-starved country.
“While one substation has already been commissioned in Kabul, we are now planning to do two more substations at Doshi and Charikar in Afghanistan. This will help in improving the power situation there,” said a government official, requesting anonymity.
“We will be supplying the substations at locations around 150km from Kabul. The project will be funded through a government of India grant. The deliberations will be completed shortly,” said the Bhel executive.
Bhel had a net profit of Rs.4,287 crore on a revenue of Rs.34,050 crore in the 2010 fiscal, during which it won physical export orders worth Rs.3,571 crore.
“However, it is very difficult to do work in Afghanistan, due to the constant threat (of violence),” the Bhel executive added.
Indian workers in Afghanistan have increasingly come under attack from regrouped Taliban forces.
Vishnu Prakash, spokesman for the Indian foreign ministry, did not reply to a message left on his cellphone.
A. Munir Khan, commercial counsellor at the Afghanistan embassy in New Delhi, said: “There is no formal information on the same.”
India has been assisting Afghanistan in rebuilding infrastructure as part of its attempt to expand its regional influence.
It has built a 218km road link between Delaram and Zaranj, adjacent to Iran’s border.
India is also developing the 42MW Salma hydroelectric project in Herat province, expected to be commissioned by 2010.
Elizabeth Roche contributed to this story.
utpal.b@livemint.com
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First Published: Thu, Sep 16 2010. 12 30 AM IST