POWER CON­TRACTS TO CHI­NESE COS POSE SE­CU­RITY THREAT: IN­DUS­TRY

CON­TRACTS HAVE BEEN AWARDED IN 18 CITIES SINCE 2011 THROUGH COM­PET­I­TIVE BID­DING

Resource Digest - - POWER -

Do­mes­tic man­u­fac­tur­ers have slammed the de­ci­sion to award con­tracts to Chi­nese com­pa­nies for in­stal­la­tion of su­per­vi­sory con­trol and data ac­qui­si­tion sys­tems for bet­ter power dis­tri­bu­tion and man­age­ment in 18 cities, say­ing this can lead to for­eign con­trol over a sec­tor which is crit­i­cal to the coun­try's growth.

The con­tracts have been awarded by seven cities in Tamil Nadu, five each in Ra­jasthan and Mad­hya Pradesh, and one in Puducherry since 2011 through com­pet­i­tive bid­ding.

This could pose a threat to na­tional se­cu­rity as well, do­mes­tic play­ers said, since elec­tric dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tems carry power to pipe­lines, wa­ter sys­tems, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and other crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture, be­sides serv­ing crit­i­cal gov­ern­ment and mil­i­tary fa­cil­i­ties.

“The Chi­nese seem to have an un­stated pol­icy of not award­ing any sen­si­tive con tract in­volv­ing na­tional se­cu­rity to In­dian com­pa­nies. On the other hand, we have not been cau­tious in award­ing con­tracts in­volv­ing crit­i­cal com­po­nents in crit­i­cal sec­tors,” said In­dian Elec­tri­cal & Elec­tron­ics Man­u­fac­tur­ers' As­so­ci­a­tion (IEEMA) di­rec­tor gen­eral Su­nil Misra. “For ex­am­ple, a lot of elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion equip­ment which has come from Chi­nese com­pa­nies is not per­form­ing sat­is­fac­to­rily in many cases.”

IEEMA has made a rep­re­sen­ta­tion to the Na­tional Se­cu­rity Ad­vi­sor, cabi­net sec­re­tary and the min­istries of com­merce and power. Dis­tri­bu­tion-level cy­ber at­tacks that dis­rupt power sup­ply to such fa­cil­i­ties can have im­por­tant eco­nomic and se­cu­rity con­se­quences, IEEMA said. Such at­tacks can lead to con­trol of the dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem from re­mote ar­eas, ex­change of crit­i­cal data and a greater threat to the na­tional grid, it said.

China's share in im­ports of elec­tri­cal equip­ment into In­dia grew to nearly 40% in 2013-14 from 15.26% in 2005-06. Over this pe­riod, im­ports of elec­tri­cal equip­ment into the coun­try in­creased 19.73% to `58,354 crore.

The cheaper im­ports have also af­fected the lo­cal trans­mis­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion equip­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­try, which is oper­at­ing at less than 70% ca­pac­ity has not seen any growth in cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture over the past few years.

The In­dian elec­tri­cal equip­ment in­dus­try -com­pris­ing gen­er­a­tion equip­ment (boil­ers, tur­bines, gen­er­a­tors) and trans­mis­sion and dis­tri­bu­tion and al­lied equip­ment (trans­form­ers, ca­bles, trans­mis­sion lines, switchgear and en­ergy me­tres) -was val­ued at `1.36 lakh crore in 2014-15. The gen­er­a­tion equip­ment ac­counts for about 15% of the to­tal in­dus­try while the trans­mis­sion equip­ment sec­tor forms the bulk of the sec­tor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.