As there is a demand upswing for reliable power in the country, the transformers market is witnessing a growth trend. With huge demand for power evacuation from large generating stations and strengthening of the inter-regional transmission grid, the transmission and distribution (T&D) utilities are the major end users of transformers in India.
The Indian economy is witnessing a restoration and so is the electrical industry and its various segments including the transformer industry. High demand arising from the energy intensive oil and gas, and cement segments has buoyed prospects for the Indian transformer market. Developments in the power sector will have huge ramifications for the Indian transformer industry.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (energy.frost.com), Indian Power and Distribution Transformer Markets, finds that the Indian power and distribution transformer markets earned revenues of $2667.9 million in 2009 and estimates this to reach $4036.7 million in 2016.
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"The transformer industry, which had more then doubled its capacity over the last five years anticipating huge domestic and overseas demand, is today suffering from overcapacity," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Amritap Ghosh. "However, a shift in the government’s focus to strengthen the power T&D system has unleashed abundant opportunities for the power and distribution transformer market."
The Government of India is encouraging investments at the T&D level to increase access to reliable power supply and reduce technical and commercial losses in the system through schemes such as Revised Accelerated Power Development and Reform Program (R-APDRP) and Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY). The R-APDRP scheme aims to bring down the Aggregate Technical and Commercial (AT&C) losses in the T&D network. This entails huge investments in the T&D sector including use of energy efficient transformers, besides renovation, modernization, restructuring, and up gradation of the T&D infrastructure.
"Evidence points to a conscious effort to upgrade the grid voltages to 765 kV to minimize the transmission losses and the corridor width," observes fellow Industry Analyst Anup Barapatre. "Major participants are gearing up their manufacturing facilities to this changing paradigm with MNCs bringing technology from their parent companies, while local participants are obtaining the technology through acquisition and technology transfer."
The Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of Power, is actively working to ensure that quality products are procured by the electricity boards and has accordingly stipulated mandatory star rating for distribution transformers. Distribution transformer procurement for R-APDRP is likely to be set at a minimum of 3-star rating. A large number of distribution transformer manufacturers have already applied to BEE for acquiring star ratings.
"Technology upgradations, however, will not be easily attainable due to the lack of adequate testing facilities, skilled manpower shortage, and uncertainty and slowness in the pace of reforms," says Barapatre. "Present testing facilities in India cater to short circuit test on transformers up to 90 MVA 220 kV. Even testing for this range is inadequate and suffers from delays."
Transformers beyond this rating have to necessarily be sent abroad. Dearth of cold rolled grain oriented (CRGO) steel, import of low-grade secondary defective CRGO steel, and fluctuating metal prices have made it challenging for participants to operate efficiently in the Indian power and distribution transformer market.
To ensure market progression, there must be more clarity on the price variation clause to minimize risks. Going forward, only the supply of CRGO steel with the accompanying mill certificate must be allowed. Alternatively, the import of cut pieces of CGRO steel must be authorized.
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Indian Power and Distribution Transformer Markets / P40C & P40D