Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, India’s largest electrical equipment maker, said it has won a contract to supply electric buses for the Gorakhpur airport.
A new airport for the Uttar Pradesh city, spread over 300 acres, will be set up on the Gorakhpur-Varanasi highway.
At present, there is a small airport at Gorakhpur which is serviced by a couple of domestic airlines. The airport, of less than 1 acre in size, is located within the Gorakhpur Air Force station.
BHEL did not disclose the value of the electric buses or the total contract size, or even the number of buses that will be supplied. It is also not clear whether the buses will be for the new airport or the existing facility.
According to local media reports, the state government had set apart around Rs 2.7 cr to buy two electric business for the airport in its budget for next year.
“The order [for the buses] has been placed on BHEL by the Urban Transport Directorate (UTD), Lucknow. These low floor, disabled-friendly Electric Buses will be deployed by UTD at the Gorakhpur airport,” the electrical equipment maker said.
BHEL primarily deals with the construction of power plants, and has built most of India’s coal-based power plants.
However, with coal no longer considered a suitable technology for power production in the future, BHEL is forced to look at other technologies and avenues of growth.
It has diversified into renewable sources of energy, such as hydro-electric projects, and also takes orders to construct large solar farms.
It also makes various parts and equipment, such as boilers, turbines and transformers, which can be used in any sort of electrical network or project. It has recently won contracts to supply and install turbines and boilers for nuclear power plants.
The latest contract also requires BHEL to set up a charging station for the buses.
The government-promoted company said the move to bid for electric buses is in line with company’s “transformation initiative of expanding into new markets/businesses.”
“Further, as part of transformation journey, BHEL is consolidating and reinvigorating the initiatives taken in defence & aerospace, water, e-mobility, batteries, renewables and transportation businesses,” it said.