Cables as carriers of electricity assume vital importance in curtailing the country's T&D losses and any delays in action would have a catastrophic effect, Vijay Karia, IEEMA, CABLEWIRE 2011 Chairman, said at the event in Mumbai. R Srinivasan reports.The cable industry, with a turnover of Rs 15,000 crore (for 2010-11), has the highest share in value terms among all the electrical equipment sectors. In the past 5 years, it has witnessed higher growth as compared to the overall electrical equipment industry. Keeping in mind the growth of the industry and the challenges ahead for it, a two-day seventh international technical conference on Cables and Wires, CABLEWIRE -2011, organised by IEEMA, was held at Hotel Lalit Intercontinental in Mumbai. Based on the theme 'Powering growth through innovation', the conference was organised to provide a platform for sharing of knowledge and experience on technology, global trends and issues in cables and wires.Suresh Prabhu, Former Union Cabinet Minister for Power, inaugurated the conference and guest speakers MK Deore, Director (Projects), Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company and Arun Sachdeva, General Manager (Tech. Services), North Delhi Power, were present at the conference. On the first day of the conference, Vijay Karia, IEEMA, CABLEWIRE 2011 Chairman, welcomed the chief guest and delegates to the conference. He said, "India's installed capacity is now around 182,000 MW and another 28,000 MW will be added by the end of the 11th Five Year Plan (March 2012). The cable industry has the highest share in value terms in all the electrical equipment sectors. However, being the carriers of electricity our role assumes a vital importance in curtailing the T&D losses that face the country. We have to act now. We cannot afford any laxity or delays in action as delay on our side would have catastrophic effect on the sustainability of the growth of our country."Vimal Mahendru, immediate past president, IEEMA, after speaking about India's value proposition spoke of the challenges and said, "Can we really be called an economic superpower if India's per capita availability of electricity is less than 780 kw per hour per person and per day? Definitely not. Every ounce of electricity that we have should be converted efficiently into electricity and be provided to every citizen of our country. Another challenge is that the major centres for consumption of electricity are in the west and south so the challenge is how do we connect the two and transport the electricity over long distances since we do not have a national grid. But we are now putting up one which will connect the generation areas with the consumption areas and this may happen in the next 10 years. So the coming next 10 years will be the real opportunity. So electricity is the real opportunity and if we can be a part of this, this will be a sunrise industry for at least another 20 - 25 years. It will take at least that much time for the nation to go from 780 kw per person to the global average of 3,300 kw hours per hour per person."Suresh Prabhu while focusing on the development of power sector after reforms in 2002 emphasised on the need of sub-transmission and distribution networks to evacuate power and supply it to the end consumer. He also mentioned the need to make distribution commercially viable. Based on inputs from the industry and other stakeholders, he added that it was necessary to have policies in place that would boost the growth of the industry as well. Speaking about losses faced by discoms, he said, "Now there is a need not for financing engineering, but business re-engineering to make the distribution segment not only survive but also thrive."Keynote speaker MK Deore, Director (Projects), Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company said "The organisation's monthly revenue is about Rs 3,000 crore and average cost of supply is Rs 4.35 per unit." He said they are annually adding 12 - 15 lakh consumers in Maharashtra. He spoke of their efforts at reducing distribution losses from 29.6 per cent in 2006-07 to 17.28 per cent in 2010-11 and that they have now set a target of 16 per cent.Arun Sachdeva, General Manager (Technical Services), North Delhi Power, said "Our per capita consumption is about 1/3rd of the global benchmark, 1/2 of China's consumption and about 1/50th of US consumption. So we want to achieve our target of 'Power for all' and we need to add about 80 GW which is a very ambitious target." He also spoke of ways and means to convert the challenges of an integrated approach in project execution, land acquisition and environmental clearances into opportunities.Bharat Jaisinghani, Member, Cablewire 2011 organising committee, proposed a vote of thanks to all those present at the conference. The three sessions on day one covered 11 papers and officials presented their technical papers. Arun Sachdeva, S Ramaprasath, Joint Director, CPRI and RK Sharma, Director-Projects, BARC, chaired the sessions.On the second day, keynote speaker SK Negi, MD, Gujarat Electricity Transmission Company put forth important facts and figures of generation, transmission, distribution and the challenges faced presently and in the near future by these sub-sectors which are dependent on each other. Invited guest speaker MS Rao, Sr Vice President & Head - Mumbai Transmission, Reliance Infrastructure, touched upon the subject of 'Urban transmission' highlighting the challenges and possible solutions for distribution companies to reach their customers with uninterrupted and quality supply of electricity.Bulusu Venkateswar, Vice President, Reliance Industries, TP Govindan, Director, Electric Research & Development Association and RC Agarwal, Vice President - Technical, Universal Cables chaired the sessions. It was a perfect mixture of users, testing laboratory and manufacturers. At the end of the conference, a session offered manufacturers and users an opportunity to interact on issues like laying, installation, selection and monitoring of cables.The conference focused on new or improved technology trends in manufacturing, developments of new insulating materials, condition monitoring and online assessment, new techniques for installation and maintenance, enhanced safety aspects, developments in cable accessories etc.The conference received an overwhelming response and around 235 delegates from the manufacturing industry, research and development and testing institutions and raw material manufacturers, attended. Delegates from 10 countries like Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, The Netherlands, UAE, USA and India, too participated, lending an international flavour to the conference. The delegates expressed satisfaction about the quality of papers that were presented at the conference.IEEMA also organised its eighth international technical conference on switchgear and controlgear, SWICON 2011, which was held over two days at the same venue and based on the topic of 'Emerging trends in switchgears'.
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