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01-05-2010, 06:42 AM #1
Need to source steel for power plants locally: Experts
With India embarking on a massive expansion in the power sector, it is imperative for equipment manufacturers to source steel locally to keep costs low, according to various speakers at a seminar here.
'We import different kinds of steel for power plants. We can save around 15 percent in material costs if the steel of the required grade is available within India,' said B. Prasada Rao, chairman and managing director of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL).
Rao was speaking at the three-day conference of Indian Nuclear Society (INS) on the theme 'Materials and Manufacturing in Nuclear Industry' that started here Monday.
Referring to the power shortage that the country faced, he said: 'Demand outpaces supply. If the GDP (gross domestic product) grows at nine percent annually, India will need an installed capacity of 960 GW by 2031.'
Echoing Rao's views on the need to develop local sources for various metals to build power plants, former Atomic Energy Commission chairman Anil Kakodkar said: 'We have to be able to set up metal production capacities that make economic sense.'
Kakodkar said nuclear power stations were being built at 10 locations, a development that offered material and component vendors good business potential. Around 25 reactors will come up in these locations.
Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research director Baldev Raj argued that India had world renowned material scientists, adding: 'At a time when the country is launching a massive nuclear power programme, why should materials be imported?'
Interestingly, though speakers stressed on the need to source high quality steel locally for building nuclear and other power plants, steel manufacturers were conspicuously absent at the conference.