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French firm to create “energy highway” in India

Energy company Alstom to connect power stations and boost India’s energy distribution

French firm to create “energy highway” in India
Alstom will deliver transmission technology to connect the power stations in India

A French firm is using its transmission technology to create an “energy highway” in India and improve power distribution across the BRIC country. French energy firm Alstom will connect power stations in north India, as part of plans to meet high power demand in the country.

The UK arm of Alstom, the Grid Centre of Excellence in Stafford, is at the heart of an initiative to create a transmission line to carry power from the stations of Champa, state of Chhattisgarh, to Khurukshetra, state of Haryana, in Northern India.

The move is part of a EUR 400m contract which will see the European firm create what it describes as a 1,365km “energy highway” through the use of Ultra High Voltage Direct Current (UHVDC) technology. Alstom said the transmission line will have a voltage level of 800kV, which is “double the most powerful level seen in the UK,” Alstom said.

Under the contract, Alstom will deliver power transmission technology to India. This includes thyristor valves rated up to 800kV, 32 converter transformers, 400/220 kV gas-and air-insulated switchgear and substation equipment, as well as communications and supervisory control and data acquisition systems.

The contract may prove key to India as it struggled of late to meet local energy demands and secure output, a condition which has featured blackouts and power shortages across the country.

Stephen Burgin, Alstom UK president and chairman of Power Electronics UK, said: “For me, what makes this contract even more impressive is that it shows that we have the ability, right here in the UK, to make a real difference to rapidly developing economies around the world.”