State-run Power Grid Corporation
of India Limited (PGCIL) has drawn up an annual capital expenditure plan totaling Rs 20,000 crore for the next five years as it plans to expand its footprint in the transmission business.
"The capex for the transmission sector we have taken up is of Rs 20,000 crore per year, almost $4 billion a year, for the next five years," said R P Sasmal, director (Operations), PGCIL. He was speaking at the inauguration of India's first digital substation automation competence centre of Alstom Transmission and Distribution near here.
Sasmal said the company planned to spend around Rs 24,000 crore every year and had already placed orders for projects worth Rs 80,000 crore. "Our capital expenditure work is in progress for projects about Rs 40,000 crore," he said.
The company is working on the National Transmission Asset Management Centre (NTAMC), in which it plans to operate 192 substations from a remote location. It has already started operations in 25 substations under the system. Under NTAMC, its substations would be unmanned as far as operation is concerned.
"Cyber security is an area where companies have to focus more once NTAMC is operational. Technology in the power transmission sector is changing rapidly and there is a requirement for trained manpower to support the technology," said Sasmal.
For PGCIL, future projects would be of 1,200 Kv lines and the company with participation of 37 Indian manufacturers have been conducting tests on the platform in the National Test Station at Bina, Madhya Pradesh. It expects its first 1,200 Kv line from Wardha to Aurangabad to start in 2015-16 or 2016-17.
He also said all future plans should be made by considering the requirements of at least 10 years in line. Citing a case, he mentioned that while everybody denied the need for a transmission system connecting the southern region to other regions three to four years ago saying states were power surplus, there is now a demand for connecting to the national grid. "So, we have to look out to at least 10 years ahead while planning," he added.