The Union government has asked Power Grid Corp. of India Ltd (PGCIL), India’s leading power transmission company, to build the power transmission network that will carry power generated by three ultra mega power projects (UMPPs), ending confusion over the identity of the company that will do this. The company has already been assigned the task of developing the network for two UMPPs.
The five UMPPs are classified fast-track, which means the government expects them to be completed in the earliest possible time. The government is developing a total of nine UMPPs.
Each power transmission network associated with an UMPP is estimated to cost Rs4,000 crore. PGCIL will thus spend a total of Rs20,000 crore on the five networks.
“Since no one else has the expertise to construct power transmission projects of such a magnitude, we have been asked by the power ministry to do so,” said a senior PGCIL executive who did not wish to be identified.
The nine locations chosen for the UMPPs are Sasan (Madhya Pradesh), Mundra (Gujarat), Tadri (Karnataka), Girye (Maharashtra), Akaltara (Chattisgarh), Cheyuur (Tamil Nadu), Jharsuguda (Orissa), Krishnapattnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Tilaiya (Jharkhand) to generate 36,000 MW. Of these, the projects at Sasan, Mundra, Tadri, Girye and Krishnapattnam were classified fast-track projects.
Tadri and Girye are expected to be substituted by Bhavnagar in Gujarat and Dighe in Maharashtra.
Of these, only the Mundra project is on track. It has been awarded to The Tata Power Co.
To carry the power that will be generated by the projects, existing transmission networks will need to be strengthened and new ones created.
The government had initially asked PGCIL to create the network for the projects at Sasan and Mundra.
“Such an effort will also add to the big picture of creating a national power grid. PGCIL is the only organisation that has the capability to build such big power transmission networks,” said Hitul Gutka, an analyst at stock market research firm India Infoline.
The government proposes to spend 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 from the current 16,450MW.
This will enable the transmission of power from reagions where there is a surplus to those where there is a deficit. On its part, PGCIL plans to invest a total of Rs55,000 crore in the current plan period (2007-12).