BEL to get into nuclear power instrumentation space

BEL to get into nuclear power instrumentation space

Bangalore: With nuclear power being the current buzzword, Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) would foray into design and manufacture of instrumentation in the space.

“Now, as the nuclear power stations come in, we basically wish to be designer and manufacturer of (nuclear power) instrumentation portion", the Bangalore-headquartered defence PSU’s chairman and managing director Ashwani Kumar Datt told said.

Expenditure on the initiative has not yet been finalised as discussion is yet to take place with “the fellows who will finally come and do the nuclear reactors", Datt said.

Nuclear power instrumentation was one of the areas suggested by consulting firm KPMG, appointed by BEL to help identify future market opportunities for growth.

Datt said BEL and Bhel are currently studying the financial viability of their proposed joint initiative in the solar energy space, where the investment by the two companies would be almost Rs2,500 crore if the PSUs decide to go ahead with the project.

“We are now trying to understand the market and return on the business because large investment is needed in case we decide to do it", he said. “We are at a phase where we have started analysing the business model".

The two companies are also studying government’s incentives in terms of subsidy and whether the project would be viable or not.

Though BEL and BHEL propose to hold 50% equity each in the joint initiative, they might decide to shed some stake in favour of a technology provider later, Dutt said, adding, that BEL and Bhel teams are scouting for technology partners.

Areas such as nuclear power instrumentation, railways, homeland security and solar energy, among others, have been identified as new growth engines for BEL, company officials said.

Dutt said BEL is aiming to generate an additional business of Rs500 crore annually from these new lines of business.

In these relatively new areas of business, BEL is looking to make an investment in the region of Rs300 crore - Rs500 crore, as the company already has much of the infrastructure in place.

Some factories would take additional load as the company is in the process of restructuring its businesses.