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Govt Okays 9 Power Transmission Projects Worth Rs 12,500 Cr

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The Ministry of Power has fast-tracked the process of setting up new power transmission lines in the country by approving nine projects with an aggregate cost of Rs 12,500 crore. The projects would be open for the private sector and companies would be invited for tariff based biddings.

The decision to approve such a huge investment for the next three years was taken after the newly incumbent NDA government got a feedback from the stakeholders of the Power sector that the country lacks transmission capacity.

In May and June, southern and north Indian states suffered power cuts of more than 7-10 hours a day, despite power being available in the country.

The transmission projects will benefit several states such as Haryana, Chhattisgarh, UP, MP, Maharashtra etc, by enabling high capacity 765kv lines carrying up to 2100MW each apart from construction of new 765/400kv substations.

The new projects will help evacuate power from power stations such as 660MW Sipat of NTPC, 1600MW Gadarwara, 1320 MW Sassan UMPP.

Congestion will also be reduced in Haryana Region by the strengthening of the Northern Transmission system.

In the last five years, while power generation capacity has grown by 50%, transmission capacity has only increased by 30 per cent.

According to a Ficci report released in 2013, in the power transmission sector, a competitive bidding process was mandated for all future projects from January 2011. Although private players have participated in 15 project bids since then, there are inherent disadvantages that the private players face as compared to their government owned Power Grid Corporation.
“There is transmission constraint in certain regions of the country. For example. Chattisgarh (which is called the W3 Region) has added huge generation capacity in the last 7-8 years. Transmission evacuation capacity has not matched up with the generation capacity addition, leading to constraints, " said Debasish Mishra Senior Director, Consulting, Deloitte.

"Similarly the inter-regional transmission capacity to south is very limited, resulting in surplus capacity in certain Regions such as W3 and East and deficit in South. The move to boost invest in transmission systems will give a boost to the Indian power sector" added Mishra.

These projects were mainly stuck in the approval process in the government since last several months. The approval to go ahead with implementation was granted immediately.

At present, India has a transmission capacity of 38,000 Mw, which would reach 66,000 MW by 2017 a capacity addition of 28,000 over the next three years.