Companies

Neyveli Lignite blames BHEL for project delays

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Mr A.R. Ansari, CMD, Neyveli Lignite Corporation Ltd, at a press conference, in Chennai on Friday. -- Photo: Bijoy Ghosh   -  Business Line

The Chairman and Managing Director of the public sector Neyveli Lignite Corporation, Mr A.R. Ansari, made no bones about baring his mind about who was to blame for the delays in the execution of the company's power projects. “It is the failture of BHEL,” he said at a press conference here today, alluding to the public sector power equipment supplier.

The 2x250 MW, CFBC technology-based power project that is coming up at Neyveli—which is executed by BHEL—has been delayed by 28 months. The 1,000 MW coal-based project at Tuticorin is behind schedule by six months.

Insufficient manpower

Mr Ansari, while noting that BHEL was faced with the common problem of finding sufficient manpower for the building power plants, said that if it were not for the delays, NLC could have added some 750 MW of power capacity in 2010-11. (Today, NLC's capacity stands at 2,740 MW).

“BHEL has bitten more than it could chew,” said another senior official of the company. He said that the matter (of the delay) was being taken to the highest level in the government.

In informal discussions that followed the press conference, the bitterness about BHEL's performance was palpable. Officials spoke with a sense of resignation that even for the upcoming projects, NLC, which would need to go through the bidding route, would willy-nilly be forced to place orders on BHEL. “They turn up as L-1,” an official said.

Other projects

NLC's displeasure over BHEL extends to a few other projects too. For example, there are problems in the 250 MW Barsingar project in Rajasthan, which was “dedicated to the nation” last June, but is yet to produce power. NLC, however, does not dispute BHEL's claim that the quality of lignite there is much at variance than what was assured to BHEL, but nevertheless holds BHEL responsible for the design.

Meanwhile, NLC has reported a net profit of Rs 1,293 crore for 2010-11, compared with Rs 1,248 crore for the previous year. The company's board has recommended a dividend of Rs 2.30 a share.

On the NSE today, the NLC share closed at Rs 103.05, which was Rs 3.60 higher than the previous close.

Published on May 27, 2011

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