Banaras Locomotive Works is looking at selling engines for marine boats, and marketing them in the shipping industry.
Expanding its footprint in the manufacturing gross domestic product (GDP) of India, Banaras Locomotive Works (BLW) has manufactured 8,307 diesel locos and 967 electric engines for Indian Railways.
Demand for rail-based freight demand is forecasted to increase in the coming years, and as per National Rail Plan, the Indian Railways requires faster and heavier trains to achieve the objective. BLW’s 6000 horsepower (HP) freight locomotives are working in a big way to meet the requirement.
We are now planning for 9,000 new HP freight loco productions at BLW in the next fiscal 2022-23, said BLW general manager Anjali Goyal.
In an interaction with reporters, she said, “we are also looking for a market for BLW engines in the shipping industry. There is a plan to sell engines for marine boats.”
It is exploring the market of marine engines for the first time, and has approached 14 shipyards, the Inland Waterways Authority of India and Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers in Kolkata in the last few months.
In order to further boost to BLW’s production capacity, various measures have been taken to enhance the loco production capacity and reduce the manufacturing time. As a result, total manufacturing time for an electric loco has been decreased from 33 to 21 days.
BLW has manufactured 219 electric locomotives till November 2021, against 169 till November 2020.
Supporting the domestic manufacturing sector in a significant way, BLW’s electric locomotive production line has more than 98 per cent indigenous material input.
The Banaras Locomotive Works is planning to expand on its earnings through manufacturing locomotives for export to other countries.
In 2021, it completed an order of six 3000 HP Cape Gauge Locomotives to Mozambique. After the agreement was made with RITES in November, the locomotives were handed over the months of March to August and it received an order for a seventh locomotive in September.
“The Mozambique order is significant because the entire thing was completed during Covid times. We got the order in November 2020… in such little time it is very difficult to complete an international order, that too when more than 1,000 of our staff were down with Covid in the months of April and May,” said Goyal.
She further said “It was a big achievement for us. Another thing it did was that it gave supply opportunities to the private sector and public sector. So many firms partnered with us, a new market opened up for them as well.”
According to BLW, it has generated revenues of Rs 1,407 crore through the sale of locomotives and spares to non railways customers and exports since 2015-2016.
“Our export plan is very robust, we already have two commercial offers at very advanced stages including the export of 30 locomotives to Malaysia, and we are also exploring export opportunities to other countries in Africa through RITES, so it is possible that there will be another 100 crore of earnings,” said Goyal.