New Delhi: India’s biggest power equipment maker, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (Bhel), plans a Rs1,500 crore joint venture company for forgings and castings to gain technology, chairman and managing director K. Ravi Kumar said.

The state-controlled equipment maker has received interest from as many as 15 companies, both local and overseas, Kumar told reporters in New Delhi on Saturday. The proportion of the equity stake to be offered hasn’t been decided, he said.

Bhel is forming joint ventures, including one with India’s biggest utility NTPC Ltd and another with Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd, to increase its capability to meet rising demand for power generation equipment and gain know-how.

“There is a short supply of forgings and castings and we don’t have the technology for higher tonnage," Kumar said. “Supply chain management is the main reason for this. We want to source our material from this joint venture."

The joint venture, which will make forgings of more than 50 tonnes, will sell 40% of its production to Bhel and the rest will be sold overseas, Kumar said. Bhel, whose equipment lights three of every five homes in India, expects to get more than Rs50,000 crore of contracts in the current fiscal year ending March 2009, Kumar said.