The transmission-line projects to be implemented are distributed across the southern, northern, and western grids. The network-strengthening projects include a number of construction activities ranging from the laying of transmission lines to the erection of towers and setting up of substations.
Strengthening of the southern grid is expected to attract an investment of about $97 million and is scheduled to be commissioned during the next 36 months. About $220 million will be spent on the western grid projects that are likely to be commissioned in three years.
A significant part of the total investments will be used in enhancing the northern grid transmission network at an estimated cost of more than $740 million. The northern grid projects are expected to be commissioned within 33 to 36 months. These include the development of a transmission system of 765 kilovolts (kV) for the northern grid at a cost of $274 million.
The $1 billion of investments approved by the board are in line with PGCIL's plan to invest $11.5 billion during the current Eleventh Five-Year Plan (2007-12). PGCIL, a Navratna public sector undertaking, recently commissioned a 400-kV transmission line between Ranchi in Jharkhand and Sipat in Chhattisgarh to increase the power transfer capacity by 1,200 megawatts (MW) between the western and eastern regions. The power-transmission utility also enhanced the power transfer capacity by 500 MW between the northern and eastern regions.
As part of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan, PGCIL is targeting a total interregional transfer capacity of more than 37,000 MW for the national grid system. The firm currently operates 116 substations and a network of 69,500 circuit kilometers of transmission lines with a combined capacity of 77,200 megavolt-amperes across five regional load dispatch centers in the country.