Sterlite Grid Limited has successfully commissioned a 231 km long, 400 kV double-circuit quad transmission line that connects Purnia and Bihar Sharif substations in the state of Bihar. This line was identified as the highest priority line by Power System Operation Corporation Limited (POSOCO), India's national power grid operator. Sterlite was selected to build India's first Ultra Mega Transmission Project (UMTP) with two 400 kV transmission lines under tariff-based competitive bidding. The line provides critical connectivity for power transfer from the hydro power plants in the North Eastern (NE) region. This will bring on-line enough transmission capacity to power more than 1 million homes in North East Bihar and Northern India.
"We are extremely delighted to have commissioned India's first UMTP line and dedicate this to the country. We are building several critical lines which are crucial for evacuation of power and are hopeful that with continued support from the state and central government, we will be able to deliver these as per our commitments," said Pravin Agarwal, Director, Sterlite Technologies Limited. Sterlite is confident of commissioning all its subsequent lines and substations at regular intervals so as to achieving commissioning of all its projects by the middle of next year.
Transmission development has not kept pace with electricity generation in the 10th and 11th plan, resulting in the lack of sufficient transmission capacity. India has installed capacity of 225 GW, yet we are able to meet peak demand of only 123 GW - one of the key reasons being lack of sufficient transmission lines. In Chhattisgarh alone, more than 20,000 MW of power will soon be bottlenecked. As per a recent POSOCO report, 30 transmission lines in India are severely over-loaded and stressed. Despite the severe need for having robust capacity, implementation challenges are restricting quicker project delivery. Forest clearance is a major cause of delay, as the government has laid out very cumbersome procedures for private developers of transmission lines as compared to government-built lines. In order to build the much needed transmission capacity, the government needs to expedite clearances, especially forest clearances and right-of-way in case of certain critical lines.
With the completion of this Purnia-Bihar Sharif transmission line, Sterlite Grid has successfully completed installation of one transmission line in the East North Interconnection (ENICL) Transmission Project. ENICL would respectively connect the Indian states of Assam with West Bengal and Bihar. The project has been awarded on a 'Build, Own, Operate and Maintain' (BOOM) basis and will provide a stream of annuity revenues for Sterlite Grid for 25 years.