The project setting up the Ordnance Factory at Nalanda, Bihar was originally sanctioned by the Government in 2001 to create the production facilities for Bi-Modular Charge System (BMCS) for 155mm Artillery Gun at Ordnance Factory, Nalanda.
The contract for Transfer of Technology (ToT) of BMCS was signed with M/s Denel (Pty) South Africa by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata on March 15, 2002. The contract became effective from March 15, 2003 after successful trials by Army. The ToT documents were received in March 2003 and subsequently the updated documents were received in April 2004.
However, dealing with M/s Denel was put on hold by OFB, because of its debarment in April 2005 on account of its alleged indulgence in illegal gratification.
Despite tendering twice, OFB’s efforts to get the BMCS plant in place could not materialise since foreign firm M/s IMI, Israel, on whom the contract was placed to supply, erect and commission BMCS Plant as per ToT documents provided by M/s Denel, got debarred, in March 2012, for a period of ten years due to breach of Integrity Pact.
After cancelling the contract with M/s IMI, Israel for main BMCS plant, OFB has initiated the procurement action for five individual plants through indigenous sources for manufacture of BMCS. Nitro-glycerine (NG) Plant, Nitrocellulose (NC) Plant and Sulphuric Acid Concentration / Nitric Acid Concentration (Acid Concentration) Plant have been erected.
BMCS Plant: Consequent to cancellation of contract with M/s IMI, Israel for main BMCS plant, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) initiated the procurement action for five individual plants (NC-NG Paste, Single Base Propellant, Triple Base Propellant, Combustible Cartridge Case and Charge Assembly) through indigenous sources for manufacture of BMCS.
Meetings of Project Management Board (PMB) at the level of the Ministry of Defence and the Steering Committee at the level of OFB are being held at regular intervals to monitor the progress of the project.
As on date, no timeline has been fixed by the Government for completion of construction of this factory because of uncertainties in procurement/fabrication of BMCS plants through indigenous route.
This information was given by Minister of State for Defence Rao Inderjit Singh in a written reply to SmtRenuka Chowdhury in Rajya Sabha today.