Five firms have bid for NTPC's Rs 9,000-crore tender for supply of nine units of supercritical power equipment: Bharat Heavy Electricals, L&T-Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Thermax-Babcock & Wilcox, Alstom-Bharat-Forge and BGR-Hitachi, and South Korea's Doosan Heavy Industries. Foreign companies had stayed away from NTPC's previous round of bulk contracts for 660-mw projects because of a precondition that requires bidders to have manufacturing facility in India. Last year, Russia's Power Machines had bid for a tender to supply 660 mw turbine generators. The company was disqualified when it refused to set up a manufacturing facility in India.
Supercritical technology, a forte of Chinese, Korean and Russian companies, is a relatively new area for Indian manufacturers. As per estimates of the Central Electricity Authority, about 60 per cent of coal-based power projects in the 12th plan period and 90 per cent coal-based capacity in 13th plan period are likely to be based on supercritical technology.