The first contract pertains to the construction of a new 400/220-kilovolt (kV) substation in Bachau, Gujarat, as part of the associated transmission system for the UMPP being set up in Mundra by Tata Power Company Limited. Under the contract, Siemens will also upgrade two existing substations operated by Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited in Ranchodpura and Limbdi in the state. The project will enable the transmission of bulk power generated by the UMPP to the western region.
Under the second contract, Siemens will undertake the extensions of two 400-kV substations in Maithon in Jharkhand and Biharshariff in Bihar to enable transmission of bulk power generated by the Sasan UMPP to the northern region. These projects will be executed as part of the common scheme for network in the western region, and the common scheme for network and 765-kV pooling stations in the northern region.
Both contracts are to be executed within the next 12 to 24 months on a turnkey basis. Siemens will be responsible for the design, engineering, supply and commissioning of the substations and will also supply high-end technology products such as disconnectors, instrument transformers, circuit breakers, and equipment for control and protection. The components and equipment will be manufactured at the firm's factories in Aurangabad and Kalwa in Maharashtra, and Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh.
The two projects are part of PGCIL's plans to augment the capacity of the national grid to transmit more than 37,000 MW of power by the end of the ongoing Eleventh Five-Year Plan period (2007-12). PGCIL aims to achieve this target by strengthening the regional grids and developing more inter-regional transmission links.
This undertaking is estimated to entail an investment of $11.44 billion.
In April this year, the firm announced that it has earmarked funds of $2.5 billion for its capital expenditure program for the current fiscal year, 2009-10, and of $3.12 billion for the next fiscal year, 2010-11. As of December 31, 2008, the firm had enhanced the capacity of the national grid to transmit 18,700 MW of power.
PGCIL is currently implementing 45 projects in order to increase its transmission network by 30,536 circuit kilometers and transformation capacity by 29,420 megavolt-amperes (MVA). The firm plans to implement an interconnector project, estimated at $2.31 billion, to evacuate and transmit surplus power from the northeastern region to the power-deprived northern and western regions of the country. Implementation of this project is expected to commence by the end of this month.
Other projects in the pipeline include a $1.04 billion transmission system associated with the Krishnapatnam UMPP in Andhra Pradesh and another $1.04 billion transmission project for independent power producers in the state.
About 45% of the total power generated in the country is currently routed through PGCIL's transmission network. During the Tenth Five-Year Plan (2002-07), the firm was able to achieve its physical target for the period with lower capital outlay than was planned. Against an approved outlay of $4.44 billion, PGCIL invested $3.93 billion and added about 19,170 circuit kilometers of extra-high-voltage alternating current (EHVAC) transmission lines and 36 extra-high-voltage substations with a total transformation capacity of 25,130 MVA.
At the end of the period, the firm had a transmission network of 59,461 circuit kilometers and 104 substations with a total transformation capacity of 59,417 MVA. Industry analysts are optimistic about PGCIL being able to repeat its performance and achieve company targets for the current plan period. The firm presently operates about 71,500 circuit kilometers of transmission network and 120 EHVAC and high-voltage direct current substations with an aggregate transformation capacity of 79,500 MVA.