Indian Jewel in Sudan’s Crown

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Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), a Government of India company is categorized as ‘Maharatna’ company which means it belongs to the top jewel group of public sector enterprises. BHEL is entrusted as the EPC (Engineering-Procurement-Construction) contractor by the Ministry of Electricity, Government of Sudan to execute the 4X125MW Power Project at Kosti, Sudan named as Um Dabakir Power Station. This contract was signed by Eng. Makkawi Mohamed Awad the then Managing Director of NEC who is presently the Minister of Petroleum, Government of Sudan. The Consultant retained by the Sudanese Government for this project is Fichtner GmbH & Co. KG of Stuttgart, Germany. This was reported as the single largest export order secured by BHEL worth 457.5 million USD for setting up a 4x125MW (500MW) Crude Oil fired thermal power plant in Sudan. Government of India had extended a concessional line of credit of 350 million USD through EXIM Bank of India.

The BHEL project near Rabak at White Nile State is centrally located 320 km south of Khartoum with the White Nile flowing nearby. Mr. Rana Basu General Manager of BHEL, who has been at the helm of affairs since the inception of the project, has undertaken a herculean task in coordinating Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC).  This plant is a strategic project designed to supply power to Southern Sudan, Darfur and Khartoum ring. The crude oil was supposed to come from South Sudan, in turn to fire the boilers at the power plant. The main setback of supply of fuel happened ever since South Sudan seceded from Sudan in 2011.There were delays in transportation of materials manufactured by BHEL in India to Kosti. BHEL has appointed Indian contractors for the construction of the Kosti plant. Till few months back there were almost 2000 Indian personnel including workers engaged at the site. Today the number has reduced to 1000. Mr. Rana Basu along with their Site Manager Mr. Asim Sur take pride in saying that today three of the four units have been commissioned with relentless and sleepless hard working days and nights by BHEL construction team of 45 Engineers and they will be ready with the fourth unit for completion of the project by March 2015.

This writer recently visited the plant and was astonished with the mighty plant as you can see in these pictures. A matter of pride for every Indian is that the huge plant is designed in India and made of materials and equipment manufactured by BHEL in India. In other words, every piece of steel in this gigantic plant is Indian.

The raw water intake channel constructed by BHEL at the White Nile is very picturesque especially at sunset. It is an 800 meters long & 12 meters deep channel built to feed water from White Nile for the Power Plant. The water reservoir has a capacity of 90000 tons. This water is treated and demineralized so that it does not damage the turbines. This treated water is pumped into the boilers to generate steam and activate the turbines. There are four massive turbines each capable of generating 125 MegaWatts of electricity. Amazingly, all the activities, pathways and dynamics of each unit are controlled centrally in a control room by the click of a mouse. This speaks of the state of art technology in this project.246

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