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Interaction | May 2014

R&M upgrades capacity and extends periods of operation

TÜV SÜD South Asia is a leading quality certification, inspection and testing company with presence across India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Bratin Roy, Assistant Vice President and Head, Energy and Environmental Services, TÜV SÜD South Asia. speaks on some of the entity´s latest initiatives.

The Central Electricity Authority has empanelled TÜV SÜD as a renovation and modernisation (R&M) consultant for thermal power plants in India. In your opinion, how high is the demand for plant modernisation in India?
With regards to the current power situation in India, there is an ever-increasing gap between demand and supply along with limited availability of financial resources, hence it is imperative to look for options such as renovation and modernisation (R&M) that are not as capital intensive as new capacity addition and can be implemented in a relatively shorter time period.

In India, there are 66 units (13720 MW) of 200/210 MW LMZ (Russian) design units that are in need of R&M. Some of these units have crossed their economic life of 25 years and consume high amounts of fuel. It is therefore important to improve their performance levels in order to ensure fuel efficiency as well as reduce environmental impact.

These units present a good opportunity to uprate capacity and extend periods of operation. R&M has been recognised as one of the most cost-effective options by virtue of its short gestation period and low cost. Additionally, a large number of such 200/210 MW units in India have already exhausted or are nearing the completion of their operating life. These units are in need of modernisation and life extension and there is immense potential to enhance their rated capacity by 4 per cent to 8 per cent and efficiency by 8 per cent to 10 per cent.

TÜV SÜD has indicated that around 50 conventional Indian power plants have to be modernised by 2016. Is this an achievable target, considering the fact that a number of these conventional plants are operated by the public sector, where resistance to change would be on the higher side?
The Government of India has directed public sector power plants to modernise in order to be eligible for incentives. The Government of India has now accorded high priority to R&M and Life Extension (LE) of old existing power plants and at TÜV SÜD, we believe the same focus to continue in the future as well.

Apart from power production, greater efficiency would be required even in the process of power consumption in India. How can TÜV SÜD help in this area?
Post production and consumption, power needs to be evacuated through an efficient transmission and distribution (T&D) line / system. However, in India, the losses during T&D are the highest in the world.

In order to address this issue, the Government of India has laid out a detailed plan under the APDRP (Accelerated Power Development and Reform Programme) schemes. At TÜV SÜD, we provide inspection, advisory and supervisory services to project owners (especially for new projects) to ensure that due emphasis can be given during the design phase itself.

What are the services that TÜV SÜD provides to the renewable energy sector in India?
With over two decades of experience, TÜV SÜD has worked with renewable energy producers across the world to provide them with end-to-end consultancy in the sector. Over the years, we have developed a wide range of services that help integrate sustainability into strategy and operations. Our services also help organisations realise related opportunities to grow revenues and reduce costs while managing sustainability-related risks. Services like site assessment, feasibility study, yield analysis, project management consultancy (PMC) and performance measurement are all aimed to support investors and developers for risk-free and sustainable operation.

Who are your major clients in the Indian power sector?
We have a diversified client base in the Indian power sector. Our clients include turbine and boiler manufacturers, project developers that include independent power producers and government owned power generation companies; international and domestic EPC companies, investors like private banks and financial institutions who are keen to invest in the sector.

India is home to the international competency centre of TÜV SÜD that caters to the requirements of the entire Asia Pacific region. Our client base is therefore spread across the entire Asia Pacific region.

Though sustainable development is the mantra that most global players seem to be chanting now, is Indian industry on the whole ready to embrace the concept? Does TÜV SÜD have a role in ensuring that the Indian power industry moves along the path of sustainable development?
Sustainable development is the key to India´s strong economic growth. While there are systemic and operational barriers to implement the same, our aim at TÜV SÜD has been to successfully convert roadblocks into opportunities.

Our key objective is to first educate the stakeholders on various aspects of sustainable development. Our energy and environment services focus on providing solutions that enhance safety and performance of conventional power plants. TÜV SÜD´s expertise in optimising operational safety, reliability and overall performance of power plants helps protect investments as far as environmental, power quality and cost-efficiency issues are concerned. We provide power plant stakeholders with complete end-to-end solutions, from design and planning through to operation, maintenance and decommissioning. Our experts have decades of international experience from public, private and joint-sector projects, equipping them with technical expertise in areas such as steam and pressure technology (new materials, lifetime assessment, and failure investigation) and environment management.

Legal & Institutional frameworks often provide limited support for development and implementation of sustainable energy services. Additionally, production of new energy is given priority instead of improving energy efficiency with and for the end users. We at TÜV SÜD are working with different institutions and government organisations to develop policies of energy efficiency across industries.

Hindrances to sustainable development:
Very often end users do not see sustainable development as a solution to tackle challenges related to deficient, instable or costly energy services. This is also reflected within large private companies and government structures. Moreover, lack of public awareness of new technologies coupled with low access to information, are frequently noted as barriers to encourage a wider uptake of sustainable development. Basis the circumstances, this may be related to inadequate information to stakeholder groups, poor follow-up of the implemented projects, and a lack of a systematic approach for awareness raising and capacity building about sustainable development.

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