Apr 1 2014 | Focus

Revival Signs

With the growth of the economy the demand for power increases from varied sectors such as industrial units, commercial establishments, metallurgy, railways, telecom and households, etc. The power generation capacity needs to be scaled up by tapping various energy source such as the conventional coal based power generation or the other fuel source such as Gas based and renewable sources like wind, solar, bio-mass and hydro power. The next challenge lies in supplying power generation to places of consumption. The power generated can only be used if the transmission infrastructure is in place. Around 88 GW of power generation is targeted in the 12th five year plan. The investment in the transmission sector has to be planned simultaneously for smooth evacuation of power from centre of generation to consumption point.


A total of 1765 MW of power generation capacity was added during the month of December, 2013 which was much above the capacity of 105 MW scheduled to be added during the month. This entire capacity addition was contributed by the thermal sector with no capacity addition taking place in Hydro and Nuclear sector during the month of Dec, 2013. During the month of December, 2013, a growth of 6.73 per cent was registered in power generation compared to performance of Dec, 2012. Overall generation was 82,305.10 Million Units (MUs) as compared to 77,117.35 MUs achieved during the corresponding month of the last year. A growth of 14.64 per cent in nuclear generation, 22.41 per cent in hydro generation and 85.91 per cent in the imported power from Bhutan have been achieved in the month of December, 2013 as compared to the corresponding month of the last year. However, a negative growth of 4.69 per cent in thermal generation has been recorded for the same period.


During the month of December 2013, the energy supply shortage was reduced to 3.9 per cent with 82,600 MUs of requirement and 79,373 MUs of availability against the shortage of 8.9 per cent in Dec, 2012 with 84,866 MUs of requirement and 77,343 MUs of availability. Similarly, the Peak Demand shortage was reduced to 4.2 per cent with 132,786 MW of peak demand and 127,239 MW of peak met against the shortage of 9.6 per cent with 128,689 MW of peak demand and 116,394 MW of peak met in the corresponding month of the last year.


On 31st December 2013, the southern power grid was connected to the national grid through commissioning of Raichur-Solapur 765 kV single circuit transmission line implemented by Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. The country has achieved single grid status and has become one of the largest operating synchronous grid in the world with an installed capacity of 232 GW. Southern Grid Synchronous integration with rest of the national power Grid shall not only augment the inter-regional power transfer capacity of Southern region but also ease out the congestion being experienced in few transmission corridors. In the transmission sector, a total of 1613 CKM have been laid during the month of December,  2013 while scheduled target was only 281 CKM.


The power transmission sector is plagued with the usual issues associated with other infrastructure projects such as delay in project execution owing to land acquisition issues, clearances remaining pending with all concerned authorities leading to escalation of cost. Approximately 120 transmission projects have faced delays because of the developer’s inability to acquire land and get timely clearances from all stakeholders. Due to presence of many such constraints, the surplus power could not be evacuated from a region and provided to place of shortage. There are instances when power is being purchased at a higher cost while others remain under-utilised due to absence of evacuation mechanism i.e. to say the power transmission infrastructure.


Jyotiraditya Scindia, Minister of State (I/C) for Power has informed the Lok Sabha recently about the projects being planned / under execution to build new transmission lines so as to strengthen connectivity of Southern Grid with rest of the India grid. To strengthen connectivity of Southern Region with the rest of India grid, following interregional transmission lines have been planned and are under construction:
  • Sholapur – Raichur 975 kV single circuit line (2nd circuit)
  • Kolhapur (new) – Narendra (Kudgi) GIS 765 kV double circuit line
  • Angul – Srikakulam PP-Vemgiri Pooling Point
  • Wardha - Nizamabad – Hyderabad 765 kV double circuit.
At present, four inter-regional links are in place for supplying power to Southern region:
  • Gazuwaka HVDC back to back.
  • Talchar-Kolar HVDC Bipole.
  • Chandrapur HVDC back to back.
  • Sholapur-Raichur 765 kV single circuit line

To reduce the AT&C losses, the Government of India has pro-actively launched the Re-structured Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Programme (R-APDRP). So far, under R-APDRP, projects worth Rs 37,189.82 crore (Part A: `6,808.36 crore covering 1398 towns and 70 SCADA projects in 70 towns; Part B: `3,0381.46 crore in 1229 towns) have been sanctioned. The Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses at the national level have been reduced from 36.64 per cent in 2002-03 to 27 per cent in 2011-12. Similarly, transmission and distribution (T&D) losses in the country for the year 2011-12 have come down to 23.65 per cent from 23.97 per cent in 2010-11 and 25.39 per cent in 2009-10.


The Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers’ Association (IEEMA) has stated that revival signs had started appearing in the electrical equipment industry in the first half of the current fiscal, after experiencing a negative growth of 7.8 per cent in production in 2012-13. The turnaround in the transmission sector has boosted the allied sectors such as power cable and high-voltage switchgear whose sales increased in the second half of this fiscal. The transformer industry including both power and distribution transformers has grown to 18.76 per cent from -4.5 per cent in the Quarter-1 of the current fiscal.


Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) is the leader in the power transmission business with the responsibility for planning, implementation, operation and maintenance of inter-State transmission system and operation of National & Regional Power Grids. The company has 69.42 per cent holding of Government of India and balance by Institutional Investors & public. PGCIL is spearheading the movement of building India’s power transmission network. The company has been implementing various transmission projects for generation capacity addition under central sector, Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPP) and other projects, assigned to it from time to time. As on September 30, 2013, the Company owns & operates transmission network of about 1,02,109 ckm of transmission lines and 172 nos. of EHVAC & HVDC substations with transformation capacity of about 1,72,370 MVA. The Company continues to wheel about 50 per cent of total power generated in the Country through its transmission network at an availability of over 99 per cent consistently.


Power Grid Corporation Ltd has RECENTLY acquired Unchahar Transmission Ltd - the special purpose vehicle to establish the transmission system for ATS of Unchahar TPS on build, own operate and maintain (BOOM) basis on March 24, 2014 from REC Transmission Projects Company Ltd. The Government of Odisha had earlier announced smart grid power network for Ganjam District. On behalf of the state government, Odisha Power Transmission Corporation Ltd (OPTCL) has recently floated global tenders for the smart grid project named as ‘Odisha Power Sector Emergency Assistance Project’ recently. The contract is likely to be awarded in 3-4 months. The project is estimated to cost Rs 1,000 crore. Asian Development Bank (ADB) will fund this project to the tune of Rs 650 crore and the rest of the funding will be borne by the state government.

BHEL had awarded a contract to Alstom worth approximately €40 million to supply three 660 MW supercritical boilers for North Karanpura Super Thermal Power Project (STPP) located in Jharkhand. The units are expected to be commissioned in 2017.

Transformers and Rectifiers (India) Ltd bagged the order for supply of 66KV class transformers aggregating to 1290 MVA and amounting to Rs 66 crore from Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Ltd (GETCO).

MSETCL plans to establish 400/220kV sub-station at Alkud and 2 nos 400 kV line bays at 400 kV Jejuri sub-station on turnkey basis. The bids are currently invited including civil works.

PGCIL board has announced investments worth Rs 575 crore for two projects. The first project is Eastern region strengthening scheme costing Rs 196.58 crore. This project would take 24 months to commission. The second project involves investment of Rs 378.71 crore for setting up a transmission system connected to the Kakrapar Atomic Power Project. The commissioning of this project is targeted in 32 months.

PGCIL is drawing the 400 KV D/C transmission line from Mysore to Kozhikode in Kerala via Kodagu district. Out of the 210-km transmission line, around 155-km stretch is completed in Kerala/Karnataka. The balance 54.5-km line needs to be drawn in Kodagu, through 38 km of paddy fields and across 12 km of coffee plantations. The project is stucked due to opposition by NGOs who are citing environmental concerns and the likely cutting of over 50,000 trees for this line via Kodagu. To boost Rajasthan’s renewable energy capacity and to construct a power transmission system in the state, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to provide a loan of $500 million. The new power transmission system will be made up of 1,850 km of transmission lines, three 400 kilovolt substations and nine 220 kilovolt grid substations. The transmission system will be mainly located in western Rajasthan.

Bihar Government has prepared a master plan to augment and strengthen the power transmission network in Bihar. The power availability in Bihar is likely to go up from 2,000 MW to 6,000 MW. New transmission grid substations and transmission lines of 400/220/132 kV will need to be constructed.


As per FICCI report on power transmission sector titled ‘Power Transmission - The Real Bottleneck’ released in September 2013 , overall an addition of 90,000 ckm of 765-220 kV lines, 154,000 MVA of substation capacity and 27,350 MW of national grid capacity is required in order to meet the 12th Five Year Plan . For this purpose, an investment of US$ 35 billion is planned in the power transmission sector. Of this, about US$ 19 billion is planned to come from Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd. The remaining US$ 16 billion, i.e. around 46 per cent is expected from private sector players. The power transmission sector future outlook appears to be promising as lot of projects are planned under this sector.

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