Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Undersea power to Sri Lanka

Undersea power to Sri Lanka

Gestation period of forty two months

By Chandani Kirinde

The proposed India-Sri Lanka Electricity Grid Interconnection project
which aims to lay an undersea power line between Rameshwaran in South
India and Talaimannar could be commissioned within 42 months from the
inception of the work on the project, according to the pre-feasibility
report on it.

It has been
estimated that the project will cost around Rs 4.8 billion. The basis
for the cost estimates have been based on quotations from leading HVDC
(high voltage. direct current) equipment manufacturers in Sweden,
France and Germany.

pre-feasibility report is to be followed up by a full feasibility study
to be undertaken jointly by the two countries shortly, The Sunday Times

According to the pre
feasibility report, the proximity of the location of India and Sri
Lanka provides for the opportunity of power exchange between these two
countries through transmission interconnection.

The power supply position of India is envisaged to improve with the
commissioning of planned capacity additions, especially in the southern
region which is expected to have a large quantum of surplus supplies
between 2011 and 2012, reaching a peak surplus of around 6000 MW and an
off peak surplus of 12,300 MW.

interconnection of the southern grid with Sri Lanka shall help in
enlarging the power market reach for generation projects in India to
export power from India to Sri Lanka while Sri Lanka shall have access
to the competitive power availability in the Indian power market, the
Report said.

Sri Lanka, at present
is dominated by hydro power (50 per cent) but this hydro dominance
would reduce progressively in future as the future generations are
mainly thermal based. India on the other hand has a substantial amount
of hydro based generation (overall 26 per cent)

The Report said that the transfer of power from India to Sri Lanka
would also reduce the use of expensive thermal generation in Sri Lanka
based on liquid fuels.Thus the link will be mutuality beneficial to
both the countries with Sri Lanka achieving significant savings on cost
by importing cheaper power from India while India would benefit from
having access to newer market to sell surplus power.

The power supply scenario of both countries suggests that in the short
term period (2009-2010), India and Sri Lanka can exchange power to the
tune of about 500 MW. The quantum of power exchange can be enhanced to
about 1000 MW in the medium time period (2011-2012) when both the
countries would have reasonable experience in exchange of power as well
as a comfortable power supply scenario.

As of now, with the projected power scenario, it is envisaged to retain
the capacity of exchange of power of 1000 MW in the long term as well
(2015-2016). While planning the interconnection, flexibility need to be
provided so that either side can transfer power up to 1000 MW depending
upon the availability and demand for power, the Report said.

The transmission system between India and Sri Lankan need to be planned
judiciously as it would involve expensive submarine cables. The
transmission line would be 400 KV HVDC overhead lines from Madurai to
the Indian coast (near Rameshwaram (139 km), a 400 KV HVDC cable from
the Indian sea coast to the Sri Lankan sea coast (39 km), a 400 KV HVDC
overhead line from the Sri Lankan coast to Anuradhapura/Puttalam

A detailed marine survey is to be carried out prior to the laying of
the undersea/submarine cables. The cable survey will look into the
traffic of movements of ships in the area, depth of sea, earthquake
zones and volcanic actives as well as the presence of sharks in that
area of sea.

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