India boosts European order books

16 June 2009

India’s continued economic growth and its need to boost the capacity and reliability of its power system is resulting in key orders for Europe’s power equipment manufacturers.

Powergrid Corporation, India’s main transmission utility, has placed an order with Areva T&D for four extra high voltage substations. The EUR50 million order follows one placed with ABB earlier this year for five substations in various parts of the country.

The projects are key to Powergrid’s efforts to strengthen India’s power infrastructure and develop an extra high voltage transmission network.

Areva T&D will deliver the four 765 kV substations in Lucknow and Ballia, Uttar Pradesh state, and Bina and Satna in Madhya Pradesh state. It will manufacture a portion of the equipment at its three manufacturing sites in India.

German manufacturing firm has also sealed its commitment to India’s developing transmission market with the official opening of a production facility for gas insulated switchgear (GIS) in Aurangabad. It says it has invested EUR4 million in the facility, which marks the firm’s entry into India’s GIS market.

Siemens anticipates that the Aurangabad production plant will make around 100 switchgear panels with a rated voltage of up to 145 kV in its first year. This will rise to 300 panels by 2013 with an expanded manufacturing line to include switchgear with a rated voltage of 245 kV.

“In addition to power transformers, high-voltage converters, circuit-breakers and disconnectors we are now also present in India with gas insulated high voltage switchgear and thus have significantly improved our customer proximity,” said Udo Niehage, CEO of the Power Transmission Division at Siemens Energy.

Siemens recently won a EUR210 million contract from private power developer Adani Power Limited to install a high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission system in India. The 2500 MW system will transmit electricity from a planned new coal-fired power plant in the port city of Mundra on India’s west coast to industrial load centres near New Delhi.

Operation is scheduled to start in early 2011.

Siemens has also announced plans to invest EUR40 million in the expansion of a manufacturing plant in the state of Gujurat, tripling production capacity for industrial steam turbines by 2010. “For emerging countries like India efficient, eco-friendly power generation is enormously important,” said Armin Bruck, Managing Director of Siemens India. “By tripling our local production capacity we will strengthen our global manufacturing network and be well prepared to utilize the good growth prospects in India.”

In April, ABB announced that it had been awarded power transformer orders worth around $30 million by National Thermal Power Corporation as well as substation orders worth $100 million by Powergrid.

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