KEL on Revival Path with Host of New Initiatives


Kochi: The state-run Kerala Electrical and Allied Engineering Co. Ltd. (KEL) with 50-plus years of experience has served an elite client base, including Defence, Indian Railways, Space Research Organisations, Irrigation and Power Projects and State Electricity Boards, among others.

Despite associating with an array of prestigious shoppers for its products, KEL faced a hiatus and joined the long list of loss-making public sector enterprises in the state. However, with the change of guard in the corridors of power and a new managing director at the helm, KEL is now back on the revival path with diversification plans and various lucrative projects knocking on its doors. “Our plan is to take KEL to where it actually belongs. The government is supportive of industry. It has sanctioned Rs. 18 crore, which we will utilise to improve infrastructure in our plants.Once infrastructure is improved, we can increase our efficiency and profitability. Our focus is on safety, automation, test facilities, design development and storage,” said Colonel Shaji M Varghese, MD, KEL.

KEL is known for its products like transformers, generators, alternator for train lighting and hydro-mechanical equipment. Now, attempts are being made to diversify by testing waters in other segments too. “Our core competency is electrical and electromechanical work. We need to diversify from the existing products and we are thinking out of the box. Solar projects are going to be one segment we will be focusing on. We have completed a 500 kilowatt solar power project of KSEB. Several projects are in the pipeline and now we have been empanelled as one of the channel partners of Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, which will enable us to directly participate in solar activities. Discussions are also going on regarding other segments as well in connection with diversification,” he said.

Shaji said KEL would focus on ‘Make in Kerala’ initiative. It is planning Joint Ventures (JV) especially in developing technology. “We want to be at par with technological developments in our field. If your product is world-class, it will be accepted. We are working on technologies and are in the process of identifying partners. Even if we are partnering with a foreign firm, the product will be manufactured in the State as part of ‘Make in Kerala’ initiative,” he added.

Alternators for train lighting is one of the mainstays of KEL. With Railways upgrading to different types of coaches, KEL has also started to design other variants of alternators to meet their needs. “We are supplying to Railways since 1973 with technology from France. Now they are upgrading, especially coaches. From our part we have started developing new products in consultation with Railways,” Shaji said.

KEL is all set to revitalise its partnership with defence sector too. “I have visited several DRDO labs and we have informed our inclination to participate in their product development. It is yielding some positive results,” he added. KEL has four state-of-the-art manufacturing units and is constructing a new plant at its Mamala unit which will manufacture medium power transformers up to 25 MVA.

KEL will conduct ELEX 2017, an International Exhibition on Electrical and Allied Products from December 13 to 15, 2017 at CIAL Convention Centre, Kochi. One of the biggest electrical engineering expos with participants belonging to public and private sector from across the globe, ELEX will be a one-stop-shop for all forms of electrical and allied products.