The global solar industry is reelling under a massive oversupply and falling prices. Solar companies are going bankrupt almost every day and the biggest companies are firing workers and shutting down factories. Indian solar panel companies are working at low utilizations and are on the verge of bankruptcy as well. Moser Baer is already doing debt restructuring and has shut operations on its thin film plant as well.
However India’s biggest capital good equipment company BHEL owned by the government is plannning a $500 million investment to build a solar cell factory in at Sakoli which is part Union heavy industries minister Praful Patel’s constituency Bhandara.Talk about how dumb you can get. BHEL hardly has too much expertise in the solar panel industry and with solar cells in massive oversupply,it is almost sure to lose money. However that is how things work with Indian government companies where investment is made at the whims of ministers rather than rationality and business sense.BHEL is currently trading at one of the lowest valuations in its 10 year history and its not a big wonder why. The company has benefited in the past as did other machinery and engineering companies from an infrastructure invesment boom. However those glory days are over for the company as it faces competition from the Chinese companies and decreasing orders flow.
China captures almost Half of the Power Equipment Market in India raising Concerns
India’s private players like Tata Power,Reliance Power and others are in the process of setting up massive mega coal plants using supercritical boiler technology.While L&T and BHEL,the two Largest Capital Equipment Companies have won a lot of orders,the sheer scale of Demand requires Huge Imports as well.Low cost Chinese equipment providers like Shanghai Electric and Dongfang Electric have won almost half of the power equipment orders raising concerns amongst the Indian administrators.The relations between the 2 countries has always been testy with a major war being fought in 1962.Recently India banned Chinese telecom equipment providers Huawei and ZTE over Security Concerns.
Praful Patel the minister has already spent a few years in the airline ministry presiding over the conversion of the state owned carrier Air India ino a basket case. Now its the turn of BHEL to be turned into a basket case as well.
Air India which is India’s government owned airline is a cesspool of corruption,sloth,mismanagement and inefficiency.Most of the the aircraft are worse than the second class cabins in Indian trains with cobwebs hanging and dirt piled around.The air hostesses are rude and hostile and over aged as well.The airline has one of the highest manpower to aircraft ratio in the world with more than 200 per aircraft.The airline routinely loses thousands of crores each year which is wasted on the employees who seem more like arrogant owners than workers.Government officials and politicians treat the airline as their personal property making passengers wait in case they are late.Note its not uncommon to find that the seats are torn up and dirty.If you are unlucky you might even find rats running on your feet as the dirtiness invites rodents to make Air India their home.While all airlines have faced tough years,even the worse private airline does not have rats running through them.