KOZHIKODE: Nuclear reactors and Kozhikode. What links could they possibly have? As hyped-up as the question may sound, given Kozhikode is little known for industrialisation, the reality is an eye-opener.
The most critical components of heavy water reactors of nuclear power plants around the world are being manufactured by a group of Malayali engineers at a Kozhikode-based company.
Even the Kudankulam nuclear power plant, being built by Russia, is using the heavy water reactor valves and motors manufactured at the city plant of Peekay Steel Castings Pvt Ltd.
The company has been providing the crucial components to United States-based Flowserve Raleigh Operations and Nasosenergomash (Sumy, Ukraine) of HMS Group, Russia, who supply and install the main components for nuclear reactors.
“These two companies are the major suppliers of components for nuclear reactors and we have been manufacturing Level I quality heavy water reactor valves, the most critical component of the reactor, for them,” Peekay Steel Castings joint managing director K E Shanavaz told Express.
The company emerged one of the principal component suppliers for nuclear reactors after experts from the Belarusian Nuclear Power Plant, the end user of nuclear castings, visited the engineering unit and evaluated the quality of products here.
Giving little room for error, the engineers have been making high precision valves and other components for the past couple of years. “We get orders to make six to seven valves a month,” Shanavaz said.
The US and Russian suppliers have been opting for the Kerala-based products due to
their high quality and better pricing compared to the same products from Chinese, European and other American companies.
“We have been able to deliver the products at 30 per cent less price compared to other global brands. Labour cost at foreign plants comes to around 40 per cent while it is just 10 per cent here,” the Peekay Steel joint managing director said, adding the company will soon be expanding its operations to the aerospace and defence sectors.
“We have supplied certain components to the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in their cryogenic projects. We hope to expand this portfolio and are in discussion with various defence manufacturers,” he said.