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Alstom to expand capacity at Durgapur plant

Written by: Staff
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Kolkata, Oct 29 (UNI) Alstom, the 15-billion-euro global power equipment and rail infrastructure major, is planning to expand the capacity of its Durgapur plant through its Indian subsidiary.

The plan, include manufacture of 800 mw super critical boilers and its components, if the company wins the government tender that will close in 2007.

The Durgapur plant employs about 500 people and manufactures boilers and spare parts, retro fittings and even rehabilitation and modernisation (R&M) equipment.

"We believe that the Bengal government, with its recently announced expansion plans could provide us with great opportunities to step up business in this part of the country," said Philippe Joubert, president, Alstom Power.

"As part of the review of Indian operations, we are taking our senior management team to Durgapur to take stock of things. After the visit we will take decisions regarding the extent of capacity expansion and quality and size and the investment involved," he said.

Alstom has entered into a technology transfer agreement over a span of 15 years with the state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals for boilers, to be made at Bhel's Trichy plant.

The company has also invested million to scale up its Vadodara facility.

"We at Alstom, with our global experience, believe that 800 mw is the optimal capacity for the Indian market for the next 25 to 30 years. In a market like India where the government is poised to power energy projects with super critical boilers, there is a huge potential. We would be awaiting the result of the government bid to commence supply of such super-critical boilers and more information would be available once the bid closes next year," said Frederic Lalanne, managing director, Alstom Projects India Limited, a majority subsidiary of Alstom SA France.

Mr Joubert, while declining to reveal investment details, said that the boiler division, which employs 1,200 people, with 500 each in Durgapur and Shahbad and 200 at the New Delhi headquarters, would be upgraded "significantly" once expansions plans at Durgapur and Shahbad are fleshed out. Plans are afoot to expand the engineering division as well.

The company opened its sixth engineering centre in the city, which is also the first on environment control systems in India.

Globally environment control systems or clean technology comprises euro one billion of Alstom's business. It was euro 300 million just two years ago, with centres in the US, Norway, Sweden and Italy, besides India.

The Kolkata centre will employ 250 engineers, 70 per cent of whom will be servicing international clients in environment control systems.

"Kolkata was chosen for its highly skilled talent pool and relatively low cost of infrastructure. The company has invested significantly in software linkages and training as most of the engineers would be sent for on-the-job training to Europe or US for three to six months," Mr Joubert added.

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