IMHO - one of the previous post's request to euthanize BHEL, BEL and etc...is a crazy one...fit to be chucked into the garbage bin.
Please correct me if i am wrong - But neither South Korea (Doosan) nor China (Harbin et Al) have developed their sub-critical / Super-Critical Boiler technologies on their own from the scratch...either they bought into the European companies having that technology or went for a tech-transfer (which is what BHEL has done with Alstom). Its almost impossible for a late-comer (late by 50-60 years if not more) to develop own tech. and compete with the originators of Super-critical boiler developers like Siemens. If you want to develop every technology on your own and then compete for orders - you cannot do any business other than maybe service boilers & turbines on an AMC basis and in the meanwhile blow up a lot of capital for atleast a decade if not more, in learning to do things on your own & in catching the leaders.
BHEL is as good as the Indian state can do..... Without BHEL, NTPC and a host of others, we will be fleeced by the MNCs left & right...like how Russian, Israeli, American & etc defence companies are doing to us...because nobody shares their defence technology jewels with others unless that tech is no longer a jewel.
Remember BHEL, BEML (& to some extent even BEL) are companies & not research organisations like ISRO, BARC, NAL and DRDO. But all of these organisations basically operate in a scenario where they are catching up with the latest technologies in their field (mostly because India was no where in the picture before 1950's) and to come up with technologies that are relevant to India. Some like BHEL, BEL go for tech-transfer and improve on them because tech-transfer is still legally possible in their field of operation due to absence of any obstructing rules like the MTCR, NPT & etc . While DRDO, ISRO, BARC have to develop all the core technologies on their own because in their area of operation - no foreign company would either go for tech-transfer (even for a very hefty price) nor do certain globally ratified rules allow such technology to be shared with India.
Following BHEL -other Indian companies like L&T, Thermax, Cethar vessels and a few others have started or tied up with other foreign purveyors (like Mitsubishi, Hitachi, Siemens, Babcock, Riley & etc) of Sub/Super-critical boiler technology as well as Turbine technology. If these joint ventures, tech-transfers (with some years of non-compete stipulations) work out good in their Indian power project implementations and these companies diligently climb up the ladder of cost-effectiveness & performance through quality, R&D & skill development measures - in the future, we could see these Indian ventures starting to compete with Chinese, Korean, American & European companies for Power projects in other countries and start becoming an export manufacturing base for their associated Foreign company. 'Why China, we are not afraid of any competition'
...With our 600 Mw set, we also improved efficiency. The heat rate of our 600 Mw system is much better than Chinese heat rates — so much so that the Chinese were able to offer that kind of heat rate only in their super-critical range. And when we’re able to give the same efficiency as super-critical systems at sub-critical costs, naturally we have the edge over them.
Similarly, we have even improved our 500 Mw set to 525 Mw, our 250 Mw set to 270 Mw, and in our lower range of 125 Mw, to 150 Mw. These strategies have paid off and greatly improved our competitiveness. Coupled with that is the performance of our equipment — the kind of operating ability, PLF and availability of spares and so on. All these factors have effectively countered the Chinese competition for us. Last year, about 90 per cent of our orders in the utilities segment came from private players — and some of these players have earlier been going to the Chinese and have now come back to us
Last year, our R&D expense was nearly Rs 825 crore, which is 2.3 per cent of our sales and, remember, our sales are growing by about 20 per cent every year. We are probably one of the few companies in the country to spend this kind of money on R&D.
We also have a number of patents to our credit. Last year, for instance, we applied for a patent or a copyright every day! 153 of our patents have already been granted and 300 to 400 patent applications are pending.
Coupled with this, many operational improvement strategies were also introduced, such as design-to-cost, lean manufacturing and so on. Of course, this has been a continuous process in the company but in the recent past we have increased focus on these activities.
BHEL’s service network and the kind of service support we give is one of the differentiating factors. For instance, the Srisailam project in Andhra Pradesh was flooded for the second time in October and after one call from the chairman of the utility, we lined up our people in 24 hours. They took over the entire renovation of that power station in record time. In fact, we even provided parts for some of the units supplied by the Japanese. Nathpa-Jhakri was another plant that suffered flood damage. In this case, none of the equipment was supplied by BHEL, it was entirely Japanese. We also played a key role in the revival of the Dabhol plant together with NTPC. In fact, we have reached the stage where customers feel comfortable with us. For example, at Santaldih, Chinese units are operating — however, the next units are coming to BHEL.
But we are already taking major cost initiatives in R&D such as the Integrated Gas Combined Cycle Project. We are also working on the Ultra Super Critical project that the government of India has initiated. We are taking a lead role in this both for the boiler and the turbine. We are also setting up more centres of excellence at our corporate R&D facility.