Monday, 2 February 2015

Multi pronged role of EPC Companies in Power Sector

The overall efficiency of a company in generation and supply of power and also the effective power capacity of any state could be assessed by the quality of transmission and distribution services (TDS). In the absence of proper monitoring and management of the TDS, severe outages would occur. People in north India would definitely recall the mega blackout that they had to endure for nearly two days at a stretch on 30 July in 2012. Grid failure had resulted in the worst possible load shedding ever recorded in the history of India.

The country’s apex business forum, FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) attributed the collapse of the power grid to a major gap between demand and supply. It observed in a statement that there is an urgent need to reform the power sector and bring about infrastructural improvements to meet the new challenges of the growing economy.

Let alone the grid failure, voltage drops are frequently experienced on the network of TDS that are termed as transmission losses. Hence prior to commissioning of any network, the engineers have to conduct an in-depth survey of the intended project covering various aspects like the topography, the weather, the booster points and reception stations. Based on this feasibility studies, the planning, detailed design and independent technical appraisals have to be worked out for the entire network. The economic, environmental and human factors are also reckoned before commissioning the TDS. Effective TDS also depend on the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) companies engaged in the commissioning of power plants.

EPC companies in India have made a mark not only on the domestic front but across the seven seas too as evident from the hundreds of projects executed by them. An EPC boasts of experts and consultants from the streams of architecture, structural, mechanical and chemical engineering depending upon the nature of the project, environmental science and materials management among others. These companies play a pivotal role in the core sector and almost every segment of the industry.

The versatile expertise of an EPC can be assessed from certain projects undertaken by them. For instance, as an EPC, Energo, a leader in power plant development in India, has proved its mettle by executing 21MW Patnazi Bunjwah Hydro Power Project in Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir. It has been built over an isolated stretch in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas. This company has also undertaken the project of Periyar Energy Limited, a 2x300 MW thermal power plant near the port city of Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu.

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