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THE government has approved French power equipment maker Alstom's proposal to invest Rs 490 crore in two joint ventures with Kalyani Group flagship company Bharat Forge for setting up manufacturing facility in the country.

The Alstom-Bharat Forge JVs will set up manufacturing facilities for supercritical and sub-critical power equipment in India, an official statement said. JVs will result in foreign direct investment of 70.5 million euro (Rs 490 crore approximately) in the country.

The proposal was approved by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The FDI investment approval has been given to Alstom Power Holdings of France, Alstom Technology of Switzerland and Alstom France.

The two companies decided to form joint venture company last month and said that entities would invest Rs 2,400 crore in setting up a facility in Gujarat for manufacturing 300 -800 MW subcritical and supercritical equipment with an annual capacity of 5,000 MW. One of the two JVs would manufacture steam turbines and generators and the other all auxiliaries.

The JV would also explore possibilities of manufacturing turbines and generators for gasbased plants and nuclear applications.

In another decision, the CCEA approved conversion of three National Fertiliser Ltd plants to gas-based units at over Rs 4,000 crore investment. The three feedstock conversion projects of NFL will be at its Nangal, Panipat and Bathinda units. The government has also allowed income tax exemption to subsidies given to these projects.

The conversion will also help units to modernise their existing ammonia plants and achieve better energy efficiency, an official statement said.

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