Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Sep 07, 2002
Industry & Economy
Foreign Direct Investment
Kerala delegation signs MoU for Chinese FDI
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, Sept. 6
THE Kerala delegation currently visiting China has signed a memorandum of understanding with International Network-Small Hydro Power (IN-SHP) for the manufacture of equipment relating to small hydel plants in the State.
The MoU envisages a joint venture between IN-SHP and the State-owned Steel Industries Kerala Ltd (SILK).
This will also pave the way for the first foreign direct investment from China in Kerala.
According to a communication from the visiting team, headed by the Industries Minister, Mr P.K. Kunhalikutty, a second MoU was signed between Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation (Keltron) and IN-SHP for collaboration in the manufacture of control and instrumentation systems for small hydel projects.
As per this MoU, IN-SHP will assist Keltron in identifying a suitable Chinese partner for setting up the manufacturing facility.
The initial investment in the two projects from the Chinese end is estimated at $2.9 million.
IN-SHP is acclaimed as the repository of technical knowhow for small hydel projects and has been jointly established by UNIDO, the Chinese Government and other key organisations in the field.
It has so far developed more than 48,000 small hydel stations worldwide.
The tie-up with IN-SHP was initiated by the former Industries Minister, the late Suseela Gopalan, during her visit to China in 2001.
The projects for which MoUs have been signed now will facilitate the development of small hydel projects not only in Kerala but in other parts of India as well as in other countries such as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal, according to the communication.
The Kerala delegation also visited a rubber dam site and a power station in Tong Lu County near Hangzhou and held detailed discussions with IN-SHP authorities and other experts.
The Director-General of IN-SHP, Prof Tong Jiangdong, who led the Chinese side, said that China has nearly 50,000 small hydel projects, generating more than 28,000 MW, which has eased the pressure on thermal generation in the country.
According to him, Kerala has excellent potential with more than double the rainfall of China and a natural sloping terrain which could be tapped for establishing a large number of small hydel projects.
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