The TATA Power Co., Ltd., India’s oldest and largest private-sector electric utility, is installing 3M Aluminum Conductor Composite Reinforced to substantially increase electricity transmission capacity on its 110kV Borivali-Malad and Salsette-Saki transmission lines near Mumbai.

The 3M conductor is being installed in place of existing ACSR conductors, without the need to construct new transmission towers, as the right of way available was inadequate. The lightweight, sag-resistant overhead conductor can carry twice the amount of electricity compared with conventional steel conductors of the same diameter.

TATA Power Co., part of the India-based worldwide TATA industrial conglomerate, is headquartered in Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra state. The utility has installed generation capacity of 2,323 megawatts.

Formerly known as Bombay, the city of Mumbai occupies a peninsula on India’s west coast. The city and its environs make up one of the world’s most densely developed metropolitan areas, with a population of nearly 12 million. The above two transmission lines serve growing areas to the north of Mumbai.

“The lines linking these substations were upgraded a few years ago, going from a single to a bundled ACSR, but that upgrade has not kept pace with the growth in demand,” said Tim Koenig, director of the 3M High Capacity Conductor Program. “The installation of two double-circuit 110kV lines using lightweight 3M ACCR will provide a cost-effective long-term solution with minimal disruptive impact on the communities.”

The Borivali-Malad and Salsette-Saki line upgrades will require a total of 200 km (125 miles) of conductor to cover circuits of eight kMs of each line, making this the largest single application of 3M ACCR to date. Installation of the Borivali-Malad circuits is complete. Installation on Salsette-Saki is planned in the near future.

Located on the Arabian Sea, between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, Mumbai is subject to both extreme heat and heavy monsoons. Koenig said that 3M ACCR has been in use in continuous field tests and commercial operation for nearly a decade, under a wide range of harsh climate conditions, meeting all performance and reliability expectations with no failures in the field, in either installation or operation.