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Home News Power Sector News India - Sri Lanka 400KV undersea power cable - MOU to be signed soon

India - Sri Lanka 400KV undersea power cable - MOU to be signed soon

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India - LankaIndia and Sri Lanka are set to energise their relations. Literally. The two neighbours will soon sign an MoU to study the feasibility of laying an undersea cable — which will be one-of-its-kind in Asia when completed — to connect their power networks. Sources said the MEA has approved the draft agreement which is to be signed shortly.

An interlink between India and Sri Lanka will also firm up the idea of establishing a South Asian energy grid being discussed by the Saarc grouping. India already has a heavy-duty power link with Bhutan and connecting Bangladesh and Pakistan will not pose much of a technical problem. Final touches are being given to a study on the South Asian grid.
An undersea link will allow both countries to manage peak demand or at times when hydel capacities in their respective areas run low just as it is doing now in India. The link will help Sri Lanka reduce use of expensive fuels and import cheaper power from India's surplus. For India, the link will open up a new market for its projected surplus.

An initial report prepared by the state-owned transmission utility PowerGrid, which will be the implementing agency from India for the subsea link, has pegged the cost at Rs 2,292 crore and said it could be completed within 42 months of getting investment approvals.

The report said the power supply scenario between India and Sri Lanka will allow them to exchange about 500 mw of electricity in the short term.

Once the two sides settle down with this quantity, power flow can be ramped up to 1,000 mw, roughly one-fourth of Delhi's peak consumption, by 2015-16. These are the time frames when the generation capacities in both countries are projected to improve, with surplus in the Indian southern grid.

PowerGrid and Ceylon Electricity Board will be looking at laying a cable under the Gulf of Mannar between Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu and Talaimannar on the left flank of the Mannar islands in Sri Lanka. On the Indian side, the cable will be connected to the southern grid at Madurai through an overhead transmission line. On the Sri Lankan side, the underwater cable will be linked to that country's network at Anuradhapura through an overhead line.

The undersea link will be laid on the seabed just as telecom and Internet cables run across ocean beds around the world. It will have safeguards on both sides against electrocution in case of damage from ship anchors or sharks. An optic-fibre cable will also run alongside the main power cable to keep an eye on the link and also provide extra telecom capacity between the two countries.

At present, India is facing a 16% electricity shortage, with a peak demand of 107,000 mw. The government plans to add 78,500 mw capacity by 2012, with more envisaged in the captive and merchant segments by private investors.

Many other proposals are in the pipeline, which, after taking into account the projected growth in load, suggests that there will be surplus of 6,000 mw during peak hours and 12,300 mw during lean periods.


Source - Times of India
 

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