Thermax JV to Set Up Supercritical Boiler Plant

Economic Times | April 28, 2011

PUNE: Thermax, a provider of solutions in the energy and environment sectors, is setting up a greenfield plant at Kesurdi, near Shirwal, off the Pune-Bangalore highway, to manufacture supercritical boilers. The plant will be set up by its 51:49 joint venture with Babcock and Wilcox.

With the commissioning of this plant by the last quarter of 2012, Thermax-Babcock Wilcox will become the third player in India to manufacture supercritical boilers, after state-owned Bhel and L&T-Mistubishi JV. The Thermax-Babcock Wilcox JV was announced last March for the manufacture of supercritical boilers which means boilers with configuration of over 600 MW, as well as subcritical boilers over 300 MW. Thermax has also signed a technology transfer deal with Babcock and Wilcox for the manufacture of sub-critical boilers, in the range of 100-800 MW.

Thermax has acquired a 100-acre plot at Kesurdi for the JV with Babcock and Wilcox which will have the capacity, in the initial phases, to make 3,000-MW equipment. It will later scale up, as orders come, to 5,000 MW in subsequent phases. The plant is scheduled to be commissioned by September-December 2012.

An official at Thermax confirmed the location of the JV, adding they do not currently have any orders. "The precondition for an order is a manufacturing plant and the plant at Shirwal is currently under construction," said the official.

Earlier, Thermax had said they were weighing the option of locating the plant either in Gujarat or Maharashtra. The latter was chosen since the supporting infrastructure is already present in the region, with Thermax's corporate headquarters in Pune about 40 km away from the greenfield site.

Speaking to reporters after the company's AGM last year, Thermax chairperson Meher Pudumjee had pointed out the benefits of supercritical boilers, describing them as being more efficient, with lower consumption and lower carbon emissions. "Even a 1% increase in efficiency saves a lot of coal and reduces carbon emissions. That is why a JV with Babcock and Wilcox."

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