BHEL 6000 hp WAG-9H electric locomotive

INDIA: Power generation company NTPC Ltd has ordered six electric locomotives from Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd for materials handling operations at the Lara Super Thermal Power Station in the Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh.

Opened in 2019-20, the 1·6 GW power plant uses coal delivered by rail from the Mand Raigarh coalfield which is served a dedicated railway built for the Chhattisgarh East Railway special purpose vehicle by Ircon International.

Announcing the contract on April 25, BHEL said it was the first time that 6 000 hp electric locomotives had been ordered in India for an industrial user. ‘As the world continues to explore new ways of limiting carbon emissions in the transportation sector, BHEL’s efforts in offering eco-friendly electric locomotives for industry will provide a relatively cleaner and alternative option to diesel-electric locomotives’, it explained.

The locos are to be assembled at BHEL’s Jhansi facility, with an IGBT-based traction package developed by the company’s Bengaluru facility and traction motors from its Bhopal plant.

BHEL has previously supplied more than 450 electric locomotives of various power ratings to Indian Railways. It supplied its first 6 000 hp WAG-9H to the national operator in September 2018. The Jhansi plant has capacity to build around 100 locos per year.