Areva T&D launches 8 HV equipment plants in India

INDIA - Areva T&D India Limited, the transmission and distribution division of Areva SA, inaugurated eight greenfield manufacturing units this week in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat to supply substations and high-voltage electric equipment to support India's growing demand for power.

Set up with an investment of $200 million, the factories are located at three sites in the country — four factories on a 350,000-square-meter site in Vadodara, Gujarat; three units on a 90,000-square-meter site in Hosur, Tamil Nadu; and one unit on a 21,400-square-meter site in Paddapai, also in Tamil Nadu. The total investment made in Tamil Nadu is estimated to be $80 million. Areva plans to recruit 1,500 personnel at the eight new plants over the next four years.

On March 30, the firm inaugurated the Vadodara factory in Gujarat, its largest manufacturing unit in India. The greenfield site will house four manufacturing plants near the Kotambi village on the Vadodara-Halol highway. The four factories, set up with an investment of $120 million, will manufacture power and distribution transformers, among other equipment.

On March 31, Areva inaugurated the Paddapai plant near Chennai, Tamil Nadu. The $50 million facility will be the first in India to manufacture gas-insulated substations (GIS). The factory houses three manufacturing units, one for the production of GIS, another to produce disconnectors of up to 1,200 kilovolts (kV), and a third to manufacture circuit breakers of up to 1,200 kV. The Paddapai plant will employ about 500 people.

On April 1, the firm inaugurated the Hosur factory, which will manufacture condenser bushings and instrument transformers of up to 1,200 kV. Areva invested $24 million to set up the instrument transformers unit in Hosur. The factory is also equipped with an ultra-high-voltage testing laboratory, which will be capable of testing up to 1,200 kV.

As India is looking to add 161 gigawatts (GW) of new power generation capacity by 2020, the country is expected to make significant investments in bolstering its power transmission and distribution infrastructure. Areva's local manufacturing capabilities will enable the firm to tap into the extra-high- and ultra-high-voltage power segment in the country.

Areva currently holds 40% of India's $1.9 billion GIS market. The firm plans to double sales from the present levels of $795 million and increase exports from the present 14% to 25%, both by 2012. The firm has an order book of $795 million, which it expects to complete in the next 14-15 months.

In another development, India received its first supply of imported uranium on March 31 from Areva. Areva supplied 60 tons of fuel to the Nuclear Fuel Complex in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, and is expected to supply an additional consignment of 240 tons this month. The supply would enable NFC to produce 20,000 fuel bundles to be used in units 1 and 2 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station, both 220-megawatt pressurized heavy water reactors. Each bundle would contain about 15 kilograms of uranium dioxide and would generate about 640,000 kilowatt-hours of power.


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