We’ve all read and heard about the phenomenal growth in the economies of India and China. The need for raw materials by these two countries is fueling boom times in the Australian minerals industries and all major suppliers of mining equipment are experiencing high order levels. Elecon Australia, representing Elecon Engineering (India’s largest manufacturer of materials handling equipment and industrial gearboxes), reports that the huge volume of orders from Asia means that Elecon’s design and manufacturing facilities are stretched to the limit and this leaves very little room for orders from Australia.
Elecon has recently received one of its largest ever single orders. The AUD$120M order is for a coal handling plant for a power station and it helped take the order intake for Elecon materials handling products to over AUD$245M for the first quarter of Elecon’s MHE division’s financial year. Terry Hall, Executive Director of Elecon Australia, said “orders like this one are all the more impressive when you realise that all the major items of equipment involved, stackers and reclaimers, screens and feeders, crushers, conveyor gantries, idlers, pulleys and drives, are actually manufactured by Elecon themselves. All steel fabrication and machining is carried out in-house”.
The Elecon Materials Handling Division’s order book currently contains 18 wagon tipplers, with prospects for another 16 in the next two or three months, and 25 large machines (ship loaders, stacker reclaimers etc) with the potential for another 19 in the coming months.
Elecon has also been awarded an order to build the propulsion gearboxes for India’s first locally built aircraft carrier. At 80 tonnes per gearbox and designed to transmit 42,000 kW the AUD$12M order was only possible because of the superior gear manufacturing machinery and technical expertise at Elecon. Prayasvin Patel, Managing Director of Elecon Engineering and Elecon Australia, commented that “very few gear manufacturers in the world can make such a large and complicated marine gearbox. It is the company’s second major endeavour in marine gears after the successful delivery of gearboxes for the Indian Navy’s stealth frigate warships”.
The combined order book for the Elecon group of companies is in excess of AUD$400M with prospects for further increases when Elecon’s new wind turbine gear facility opens later this year. The AUD$25M plant will make wind turbine gearboxes in the 1 MW to 2 MW range and turnover for the first year is expected to be around AUD$35M.
Terry Hall added “The fabrication and manufacturing facilities at Elecon are being expanded to meet the demand. Not only is floor space being increased but new machine tools are also being installed that will dramatically increase our manufacturing capacity and capability. Elecon is focusing on the export market and realises that timely delivery is of paramount importance.”
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