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Imported power equipment worth Rs6000 cr required

Indian power industry will have to spend about Rs.6000 crore annually on purchase of power equipment through imports if it has to add 14,000 MW of generating capacities every year as intended by government since domestic availability of such equipment is not beyond worth Rs.2000 crore, says a Report brought out by The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).
The report namely Power Industry: Why it is failing? highlights increased dependence of domestic industry on imported power equipment as it is estimated that equipment worth Rs.8000 crore would be required every year to put up power projects in thermal sector.
Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL), the largest equipment manufacturer is unable to meet all demand for equipment with surge in power generation projects under construction, says the Assocham PPresident, Dr Swati Piramal.
While releasing findings of the report, Dr. Piramal pointed out that BHEL is scaling up its generator ratings from 500 megawatt to 660 megawatt and even above to meet demand for new technologies and is stated to be planning for making super critical steam generation equipment that improves conversion efficiency. It’s total capacity is also to be raised from equipment 6000 megawatt a year to 10,000 megawatt, meanwhile import will become inevitable as projected above and create huge prospects for investors in power sector especially from overseas part.
The Chamber has pointed out that India’s first and foremost needs to reduce the cost of generation from the high of 8 to 10 cents per unit as an early goal to reduce costs across the board in the economy. The power sector reforms, properly fashioned and implemented could, like in telecom, is a big step in making growth truly inclusive because the level and cost of energy usage will determine the whole range of issues in the economy of the country.
The Chamber has also recommended a comprehensive electricity production market that pays the full global cost of fuel will help eliminate inefficiencies in the current monopolistic state electricity supply system. Open access must be expeditiously operationalized by each State Regulatory Authority notifying a rational/ reasonable cross-subsidy. With a competitive electricity sector the increasing trend in the use of diesel Gen-sets could be reversed.
In addition, the Atomic Energy Act needs to be amended to permit private corporate investment in nuclear power, subject to regulation by AERB and AEC. Rules for private and foreign entry are to be framed.

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June 2020
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