In view of the capacity addition targets in the 11th and 12th Plan, there is a huge demand for transformers, says Daya Kingston.The transformer market in India is on a buoyant upswing and there are over 500 transformer manufacturers in India with over 85 per cent in the small scale sector. The industry size is estimated to be around Rs 15,000 crore.Customisation - key to growthWith transformers being needed for a wide range of applications, customisation becomes an important factor in encouraging their sales. Sandeep Arora, MD, Transformers (India Region - Vadodara and Naini) Schneider Electric Infrastructure, said, “We manufacture transformers based on customer requirements and all are customised products only.” Their wide range of product offerings include generator transformer, unit auxiliary transformer and station auxiliary transformers, power transformers, distribution transformers and special transformers like furnace transformers, isolation transformers, earthing transformers, converter duty/ rectifier duty transformers, auto transformers, etc.Adrian D’Souza, Director, Southern Power Equipment Company, Bangalore, said, “We manufacture distribution, power and generator transformers from 15 kVA, 11 kV to 31.5 MVA and 132 kV class. These transformers are customised as per specific requirements. Particular care is taken to provide low-loss transformers in case of power transformers and also transformers as per statutory needs of the Bureau of Energy Efficiency in case of distribution transformers. We also manufacture dry-type varnish impregnated transformers for specific needs.”Will the Indian market meet demand?India has targetted an addition of 1.6 lakh MW of power generation capacity in the XI and XII Plan period and there is a huge demand for transformers. However, there still exists the question of whether the country has the capacity to capitalise on this huge demand gap.Sandeep Arora, said, “Transformer manufacturers have already geared up with the requirements till 132 kV (there are more than 300 manufacturers in the range till 132 kV). However, for 220 kV and above there are very limited transformer manufacturers with limited manufacturing capacity.”On the other hand, Adrian D’Souza said, “Most Indian manufacturers have the capacity to meet the demands of the industry. However, with end-users facing financial losses by the day there are difficult days ahead. Our main customers are the state discoms who had an aggregate loss of around Rs 40,000 crore in March 2010, which is estimated to go up to Rs 1.16 lakh crore by 2014. The situation is grim. Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar account for over 70 per cent of the losses and there are states like Tamil Nadu that have not increased their tariffs for 7 years. The populist move of providing free power will affect discoms and in turn the transformer companies and other equipment suppliers. We are already seeing the effect as some big players are facing financial problems and not paying their suppliers and employees on time. The policy of discoms of awarding orders on an L1 basis and expecting a guarantee of 5 years without having to carry out maintenance of transformers as they feel it is the responsibility of transformer manufacturers is a breeding ground for unscrupulous elements and sounds the death knell for the industry.”The CRGO factorOne of the main challenges that transformer manufacturers face is non-availability of cold-rolled grain-oriented (CRGO) material which has to be totally imported, leading to the import of defective CRGO by unscrupulous suppliers and which is causing huge losses in distribution.Sandeep Arora said, “Schneider Electric Infrastructure only procures ‘Prime’ grade CRGO from original manufacturers (where we send our requirements 4-5 months in advance to manufacturers) so there is no issue regarding CRGO supply. However, there is a huge amount of ‘second’ grade core available in the market which is used by local manufacturers to be more competitive.”Adrian D’Souza said, “The availability of CRGO, if properly planned, is not an issue. The only way to reduce losses is by enforcing BEE-labelled transformers by all discoms in their tenders. We still find discoms tendering non-BEE label transformers which are against the notification of the Government of India. BEE should be provided the power to ban tenders that do not confirm to BEE standards.”Queried about how the company overcomes the shortage of CRGO material, Arun K Gupta, MD, Transformers & Electricals Kerala Ltd (TELK), said, “The availability of CRGO steel laminations has been a vital issue for quite some time and so far we have not been able to acquire the requisite technology to be able to manufacture it locally. Although some companies are trying to start manufacturing these laminations in India, so far it is not available for commercial use. The government may have to play an important role in encouraging various players in the respective field to diversify into manufacturing of these high technology raw material. Further, the government needs to reduce the customs duty on the import of CRGO so that its availability can be improved.”Rising prices of raw materialsThe prices of raw materials like silicon and steel have been consistently rising and transformer manufacturers have to be innovative and find new ways to make profits. Adrian D’Souza said, “The main input costs of transformers is copper/aluminium, oil, CRGO and steel which is mainly imported. We can only garner profits by superior designs to give a lower cost of the mix of raw material depending on the price of these commodities at that particular time of manufacture.” Sandeep Arora, in view of the company's strategy, said, “We buy CRGO from original manufacturers (SEIL itself has 14 transformer manufacturing units across the globe and we buy CRGO in bulk taking the requirements from all our manufacturing units). Hence, we have the best price for ‘prime grade’ CRGO as compared to any other competitor across the globe.”Testing issuesInadequate testing facilities for distribution and power transformers of EHV/UHV class units in India is a concern as it results in ATC losses. Adrian D’Souza is hopeful that this is a temporary situation as CPRI is already gearing up its facilities for testing. Sandeep Arora said, “We would like to see the presence of more NABL accredited labs (Schneider Electric Infrastructure has four NABL accredited testing labs) across the country to prevent thefts and losses which in turn ensures a much more reliable system and complies with India’s national vision of least ATC losses.”The Chinese challengeChinese transformer manufacturers are a source of worry as they have the advantages of lower cost due to large-scale manufacturing, low operational costs, low power, funding costs and so on. Adrian D’Souza said, “There is a threat from China as they are also setting shop in India and will give the Indian transformer industry a run for their money. Also if the government continues with the populist policy of providing free power with no financial discipline followed by discoms, the transformer industry may see the same fate that is being seen today by the aviation industry.”To save the Indian transformer industry, a level-playing field needs to be established. Also, the government needs to consider tax structure or subsidies so that Indian manufacturers can sell their transformers overseas.
I wish to start pvc / pp electric wire unit in Delhi. What kind of information I can get if I subscribe for your magazine
Pls invite me all auction in gujarat
we are doing business developing for solar power ,thermal power , customer supporting and we have 45 mw splar power on hand needs investors.....
pls call +910842559230