India’s plans of building a transmission capacity that can move power from the North-Eastern part of the country and Bhutan to other parts where it is needed are set to take off with Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd (PGCIL) getting ready to place its first order for the project.
Power Grid, the state-owned transmission utility, is preparing to float a Rs6,000 crore tender for high-voltage direct current lines, in the first phase. The project, when complete, will move 46,000MW of power; it will require an investment of Rs46,000 crore,”
“This will be the first part of the big link. This is for the first time that a transmission project of such a high capacity is being set up in India,” said an executive at Power Grid, who did not wish to be identified.
He added the project will move power (or “evacuate it” as this is called) from the National Hydroelectric Power Corp. Ltd’s project at Subansiri on the Assam-Arunachal Pradesh border.
The North-East and Bhutan have the potential to generate a significant amount of power through hydroelectric projects. However, with not much demand for power in these regions—industrial activity there is yet to peak—much of that generated will have to be transmitted to other areas.
In this case, the Rs6,000 crore tender will have two modules with a value of Rs3,000 crore each and will move power to power-deficit regions in North India.
“Such a move makes tremendous sense as it will help meet the power shortage in the country. This link by PGCIL will spurt construction on the hydroelectric power projects already being awarded to the developers in the North-Eastern region. Though these developers have been awarded projects, there are uncertainties regarding the evacuation of power. This in turn will further accelerate the creation of power generation capacity in the region,” said Kuljit Singh, a partner at audit and consulting firm Ernst & Young.
Mint had reported on 17 September the government’s proposal to build a transmission network to move power from the North-East.
Power Grid currently owns and operates 61,875km of transmission lines and transmits around 45% of the power generated in the country. It ended 2006-07 with revenues of Rs4,082 crore and a net profit of Rs1,088 crore.
India’s total transmission capacity of 16,500MW is not sufficient to handle the 78,570MW of additional power that the government wants to generate over the next five years.
In order to take care of power transmission constraints, the Centre has proposed an outlay of Rs1.4 trillion to build a national power transmission grid that will more than double the transmission capacity in the country to 37,150MW by 2012.
The high-voltage DC lines being tendered now will have a capacity to withstand variations of surge and decline in power transmission of the order of 800KV—almost double that of existing capacities.
The Power Grid executive said once all contracts are awarded, the transmission project will “be completed within four years”.