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Japanese team to help ramp up grid network in Tamil Nadu

According to reports, Tamil Nadu has more hope for an improved power supply network, with a technical team from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) visiting Chennai soon to help the Tamil Nadu Transmission Corporation (TANTRANSCO) enhance its operations.

Besides offering financial support to set up power transmission lines, the team of experts will offer technical guidance to the Corporation.

Finance Minister O. Panneerselvam, while presenting the budget last month, stated that it was programmed to strengthen the transmission network at a cost of about Rs. 3,573 crore to be funded by the JICA.

Early this year, the Agency showed willingness to support the TANTRANSCO. The proposed visit by technical experts is to help finalise the agreement, which is likely to be signed later this month in New Delhi, said a senior official.

The State government and the Corporation, which have agreed to accept the funding, are waiting for an approval from the Department of Economic Affairs in the Union Finance Ministry. “We are planning to erect 400 Kilovolt (KV) lines. Now, the team will come and tell us how to improve the quality of the sub-stations and transmission network. They are providing the expertise free of cost and we have to make best use of this training as they are decades ahead of us when it comes to quality of power transmission lines,” said the official.

The TANTRANSCO is also planning to outsource the erection work to an external agency. “We have not decided on the agency as yet. But we thought it would be better to outsource this work. The JICA officials are particular about the quality of the network as they are investing a large amount of money,” said the official.

The main aim of this initiative is to improve the transmission network, putting it on a par with the power generation projects that are expected to be commissioned from this year. The improved network will help reduce the load on the transmission system. “We can cut down on line losses and improve the quality of power supply,” said the official.

Tamil Nadu currently has over 1,350 sub-stations. “In five years, we will need nearly 3,000 sub-stations in view of the implementation of numerous generation projects,” added the official.

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