By Bilal Thaheem
Taxila: Taxila Heavy Mechanical Complex (HMC) built in 1971 and Heavy Foundry & Forge (HFF) in 1977 with the financial and technical assistance of China at Taxila about 30 km north of the capital city is a symbol of ‘Pak-China Friendship’.
The HMC once a subsidiary of State Engineering Corporation (SEC) is now a leading engineering goods and manufacturing industry of the country. In 1990, the two entities: HMC and HFF spanned over 730 acres of land in which thousands of employees worked in multiple shifts were merged to form one single enterprise.
The complex houses a purpose built walled colony for its employees which has all the basic amenities of life including schools, hospital, mosques, shopping markets, community center, officers club and sports grounds etc.
The HMC synonymous with ‘Mother of All Industries’ was primarily built for providing stimulus to the indigenisation of local industries and substituting imports. Since its inception, the complex has made significant contributions to manufacture equipments for establishment and expansion of 57 sugar and 22 cement plants right from design to commissioning.
Apart from sugar and cement industries, the complex has also played key role in manufacturing of equipment for chemical and petro-chemical plants, power plants, pressure vessels, heat exchangers, overhead cranes, road rollers, steel bridges, railways equipment for other important industries. In addition, it had also export potential, the complex exported its products to some countries in the past including the Middle East.
The enterprise until 90s was known for its lush green areas and bustling life because of thriving business and its impact on increased industrial growth. In order to enable HMC revive its business, a comprehensive study was needed to find out fundamental problems and prepare a workable business plan to turn around. A well-conceived business plan prepared by the consultants was presented to SPD in October 2018.
The plan envisages two staged way forward: a short term three years plan to achieve sustainability and a long-term eight years plan to modernize, rehabilitate and expand the entity to diversify its industrial manufacturing in the fields of agriculture, power plants and construction industry.
The reforms process for the marketing department to keep the business afloat on the latest trends is in progress.
Likewise, the design department which provides one of the largest facilities in the country equipped with the latest hardware and software is underutilized.
In order to optimize its utilization and generate revenue, the design center will be turned into a separate business unit. It is also important to replace old plant and machinery which would of course involve large capital investment.
The long-term plan has given a roadmap for a phased programme to procure latest computerized and numerically controlled machines and energy efficient plants. With the government’s main focus on small and medium hydel power projects, the HMC foresees a great potential for turbine manufacturing and establishing its set up.
Therefore, vigorous efforts are underway to form a joint venture with a foreign company in the field.
Recently, MOUs with a European and Chinese companies have been signed to launch future joint ventures. With focused aim and continuous efforts at hands, the HMC would soon achieve its short and long term objectives and surely will play a vital role in the nation building.