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. 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.

The Indian Solar Power has been one bright spot in the gloomy infrastructure and engineering sectors in 2011. With share prices crashing with growing corruption, land acquisition and financing problems, Solar Energy has surged in India thanks to government support and subsidies . While a number of Green Technology companies have started up to capitalize on the growing renewable energy trend, the established constuction companies in India have not been far behind . While utilities like Tata Power, Adani, Reliance Power, NTPC have already built or are setting up power plants based on solar panels , L&T has become a major solar EPC players . L&T is now raising debt with a $100 million issue to fund its solar expansion plans .

Train Accidents in India are starting to happen with surprising regularity with hardly a month passing by without a major collision or accident. Small accidents seem to be happening every day with news report of a collision not generating any mindshare these days. Road Accidents in India too happen with great regulatiry with some estimates of 1000 Road Deaths happening in India every day . This is due to government and people apathy towards safety regulation and following of laws and norms. It is just not resticted to trains but encompasses the entire system such as fire safety etc. Without a major change in the people attitude towards safety regulation expect such accident and waste of human life will continue to happen.

Natural gas is rightly termed as the Fuel of the 21st Century, has emerged as the most preferred fuel due to its efficiency and cost effectiveness. The demand of natural gas has sharply increased in the last two decades at the global level. The production of natural gas is around 87 million standard cubic meters per day. The main producers of natural gas are Oil & Natural Gas Corporation Ltd. (ONGC), Oil India Limited (OIL) and JVs of Tapti, Panna-Mukta and Ravva. Even private parties from some fields produce gas under Production Sharing Contracts. Government has also offered blocks under New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP) to private and public sector companies with the right to market gas at market determined prices. In India most of the production of gas comes from the Western offshore area. The on-shore fields in Assam, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat States are other major producers of gas. Smaller quantities of gas are also produced in Tripura, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan States. OIL operates in Assam and Rajasthan States, whereas ONGC is operating in the Western offshore fields and in other states. Prior to 1987, gas prices were fixed by ONGC/OIL. since 1987, the price is being fixed by Government. The Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas has been regulating the allocation and pricing of gas produced by ONGC and OIL by issuing administrative orders from time to time. The gas produced by the JVs and by NELP operators is governed by the respective production sharing contracts between the Government and the producers. Under the existing policy, 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is allowed for both LNG projects and natural gas pipeline projects.

At the time of independence in 1947, India’s capital market was relatively under-developed. Although there was significant demand for new capital, there was a dearth of providers. Merchant bankers and underwriting firms were almost non-existent. And commercial banks were not equipped to provide long-term industrial finance in any significant manner. By the early 1990s, it was recognized that there was need for greater flexibility to respond to the changing financial system. There was a need for these financial institutions to directly access the capital markets for their funds needs.So a number of infrastructure finance companies were set up.Some of them have become fully private like ICICI while others have been partly privatized. like REC and PFC.Besides a number of private companies have recently become big players in the infrastructure financing space like SREI,L&T Finance etc.Note with almost $1 trillion expected to be spent on infrastructure in India over the next 5 years,the scope for these companies is immense if they manage their assets-liabilities in a decent manner

Natural Gas in USA is seeing massive investments and interest due to very large shale gas discoveries enabled by improvements in Gas Drilling and Extraction Technology.Billions of Dollars have been invested by domestic and international oil and gas companies.Plans are being made to Export Natural Gas from America as the price of Natural Gas in USA has now become considerably lower than other parts of the world.While prices of other Fossil Fuels like Oil and Coal are rising at steep rate,Natural Gas Prices have fallen even below the 2008 crisis levels and are now at around $3.5/mmbtu.With production increasing Natural Gas is increasingly looking to garner marketshare gains in the energy sector in the US.Countries around the world like India and China are also looking to tap shale gas deposits as Energy Scarcity increases around the globe.