BHEL to tie up with Sheffield Forgemasters for forgings agreement

Sheffield Forgemasters has signed a £30m pound trade agreement to oversee the development of power generation forgings with Indian state run power equipment maker Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL).

The venture will be operated as a technology transfer agreement and will see BHEL buy the technology and share specialist engineering knowledge with the Sheffield-based manufacturing giant.

The 10 year agreement, which helps see the protection of future Sheffield Forgemasters markets in the sub-continent, will mainly serve India's rapidly growing domestic market for turbine and power generation products including it's renewed, nuclear power plans.

Signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU), the first part of the agreement, took place in Sheffield this week and pledges future training provision in specialist cast and forged steel production with the world's only independent forgemaster. 

Graham Honeyman, chief executive at Sheffield Forgemasters, said: "Signing the MOU with our colleagues from BHEL is a great step forward and reinforces an already strong trading partnership between Sheffield Forgemasters and India.

"The agreement will see us help build new steel making and forging facilities to manufacture forgings for hydro, nuclear and thermal power generation projects servicing India's domestic market. The Indian power generation market is currently an area that we do not operate in so this provides a unique opening for us. This is all about extending our reach and benefiting from sharing our knowledge.

"This is an important business development deal which will deepen our relationship with BHEL and also generate funds from a technology transfer fee and also royalties of sales of these new products, which will go back into Sheffield Forgemasters' ongoing development in the UK."

K Ravikumar, Chairman and Managing Director of BHEL echoed similar feelings and said: "the Agreement with Sheffield Forgemasters will go a long way in supporting the Power Generation Equipment manufacturing strategies of BHEL" 

Sir Richard Stagg, the British High Commissioner to India, said: "British businesses already have a strong presence in the Indian market, cutting across many sectors. It is a market which continues to grow and to offer new opportunities, even in difficult times. I warmly welcome the trade agreement between Sheffield Forgemasters and BHEL, which clearly illustrates the scope for mutually beneficial technology partnerships between UK companies and their Indian counterparts."

It is anticipated that over the next decade, links between Forgemasters and BHEL could provide crucial business worth £30m as a result of this agreement. 

BHEL is expected to register 30 per cent growth in the next three years on the back of a robust order book of £4.5bn. BHEL has a turnover of £4bn.

BHEL currently manufactures forging equipment for the sub critical power plants at its Haridwar plant in Uttarakhand.