Govt to boost power equipment manufacturer

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New Delhi, Sept 20 (UNI) The government today said that it plans to boost the domestic power equipment manufacturing sector that would in turn help in completion of projects on time.

''Lack of adequate domestic manufacturing capacity for equipment generation has been a major bottleneck in the way of timely completion of projects, therefore, creating more players in this field is the only way to increase capacities, bring in cost-competitiveness and accountability to timelines,'' Mr Shinde said while addressing a power conference here.

State-owned NTPC, also likely to take a stake in a power equipment company, will eventually help to increase domestic electric power manufacturing capacity. NTPC currently relies on state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) and other equipment suppliers for sourcing power plant equipment for its stations.

Mr Shinde said that the capacity addition of 78,000 MW in the next five years is not too ambitious target as various projects of a total capacity of 50,000 MW are already under implementation and the balance orders are expected to be placed by the end of this year.

He said there is a plan to establish a state-of-the-art IT enabled energy accounting system all over the country to reduce aggregate technical and commercial losses of around 35 per cent to 15 per cent in the next five years.

The Minister expressed confidence that the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) under which 42,000 villages have already been electrified, and more than 12 lakh below poverty jobs (BPL) connections already provided will change the very face of rural India within a short time.

Mr Shinde said Standing Group of Ministers with due representation from States, to address all the major issues confronting the power sector has now been appointed and it will meet later this month.

He also said that as announced by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh a Special Task Force on hydro projects has recently been formed, in which the major hydro states and some load-centre States are represented.

Speaking on the occasion, Power Secretary Anil Razdan said following the successful bidding of two Ultra Mega Power Projects (UMPPs), there has been a quantum jump in the thinking process leading to initiatives from State Governments in capacity addition programmes.

Indian power sector over the next five years is estimated to be over Rs ten lakh crore, the Minister said, adding that this kind of investment is possible only with the full involvement of all the stake-holders in the sector.

UNI

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