There currently exist a number of gaps in execution of Balance of Plant (BoP) jobs, primarily due to lack of sufficient BoP players who can carry out the task within the stipulated timeframe and scheduled cost.
Though the country has stepped up production of energy generation from various sources, development of BoP has lagged behind due to a number of factors (see box). What is promised as far as execution efficiency is concerned is often not witnessed on the ground at the time of implementation of a BoP package. Says Vidyadhar Joshi, Senior I &C Engineer, who has had intensive experience in BoP implementation: "The term 'Balance of Plant' refers to all auxiliary equipment. BoP includes switchyard, water treatment, ash disposal, oil storage/handling and gas supply for gas-fired units. Currently, the outlook is mainly focussed on using packaged systems. Thus, at a site, it's supposed to be "plug and play" in theory. However, in practice, many areas of disconnects are noticed."
And lack of professional BoP players has been a major issue. According to Prayasvin Patel, Chairman & Managing Director, Elecon, leading equipment suppliers have not been able to offer turnkey BoP solutions, often being restricted to standalone orders. "Leading equipment suppliers have expertise in their own field and generally do not want to carry the risk of the whole BoP scope. Therefore, no capable equipment supplier in the field of electrical, coal handling plant, chimney or water treatment is interested in taking the responsibility of BoP. Some who have taken BoP contracts have not been successful," says Patel.
Says Rakesh Amol, President - Infrastructure Business, KEC International Ltd: "Recently a number of EPC players, who were erstwhile large construction companies, got into this "avatar" of a BoP provider of one package or the other. However, in the absence of a robust technology partnership, very few have been able to move successfully up the value chain."
The consensus among power sector professionals that Power Today spoke to seems to be that while the overall space is growing by leaps and bounds, BoP still has a lot of catch-up to do.
Says Vinay Kumar, Owner-Founder of UAE-based EPC Consultants Professionals, "The start-to-end BoP equipment for a power plant consists of materials, services and solutions such as coal and ash handling systems, intake water, water treatment plants, cooling water systems, air-conditioning and ventilation systems, fire protection systems, cooling towers and civil works. The growth of the economy of any country is directly proportional to the growth of its infrastructure. Especially in India, to achieve and sustain a desired GDP rate of 7 per cent, the rate of growth of power supply needs to be over 10 per cent annually. While there is a surge in initiatives to generate power and install new plants, there is a need for reliable proven partners and BoP solutions providers to take the concepts to reality."
The Pain Points
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