In a conversation lasting one hour, R N Nayak, chairman and managing director, Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL), mentions 'Raichur-Sholapur' at least a dozen times. The reason: by constructing the transmission line between these two cities, PGCIL finally synchronised the Southern grid with the rest of the nation and hence achieved its aim of 'one nation-one grid-one frequency'.
It's the company's silver jubilee year and what better way to celebrate than synchronising the nation's grid into one? The state transmission giant has over the past 25 years built the country's power supply network - from the remotest corners to even cross-border interconnection.
"For the Twelfth Plan, our target of capital expenditure is Rs 1 lakh crore, of which capital expenditure of Rs 43,195 crore has already been made in the first two years of the plan period (Rs 23,158 crore in FY 2013-14 and Rs 20,037 crore in FY 2012-13). The current year's budgeted outlay of Rs 20,000 crore is progressing as per the plan. We have the lowest debt-equity ratio in the entire power sector at 71:29," says Nayak.
The company capitalised assets worth Rs 15,904 crore during the year, adding 6,604 Ckm of transmission lines, 17 sub-stations and 41,160 MVA of transformation capacity into the transmission system. Further, 19 new projects with an estimated cost of Rs 8,548 crore were also approved during the year and taken up for implementation.
The cumulative inter-regional power transfer capacity of PGCIL was about 37,950 Mw at the end of March 2014, and this is envisaged to be enhanced to about 72,250 Mw by the end of the Twelfth Plan.
The Maharatna-status company witnessed an overwhelming response to its second follow-on public offer (FPO) in December 2013. This comprised a fresh share issue of 13 per cent and the Union government's disinvestment of four per cent of the paid-up equity capital. Overall, the issue was oversubscribed by 6.74 times. The holding of the government is currently 57.9 per cent.
Under the Rajiv Gandhi Gram Vidyutikaran Yojana, in FY 2013-14, the company created infrastructure for electrification in 2,388 villages, of which 125 were unelectrified villages. Service connections were provided to about 85,460 below-poverty-line (BPL) households. Cumulatively, until March 2014, infrastructure was created for electrification of 71,042 villages, of which 32,588 were unelectrified villages, and service connections to 36.22 lakh BPL households were provided.
The company now has plans to build cross-border power transmission lines. In 2015-16, it has three major cross-border lines planned, to connect Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh with India. The company's next target is renewable energy and transmission reforms. The company is hopeful that the next generation of reforms in the power sector will come in the transmission business, and it is gearing up for this possibility.
"We are looking at ultra modern solutions such as smart grids, smart metering, demand response, power quality management, etc. We are already a pioneer in the 'High Voltage Direct Current' technology in the country. The 'green corridors' project has also been expedited and the first tranche of the line will come up soon," said Nayak.
'Green corridors' is an alternative power transmission network for evacuation of renewable energy. The project report for it was prepared by PGCIL under the chairmanship of Nayak.
"PGCIL has taken the lead initiative and developed a comprehensive master plan for grid integration of renewable generation capacity addition of about 33 Gw envisaged during the Twelfth Five Year Plan through green energy corridors across India," said Nayak.