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Alstom T&D Sees $2.4 Billion Business in Indian Blackout Cure

Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Alstom T&D India Ltd., India’s largest supplier of electricity transmission equipment, said it sees a 150 billion-rupee ($2.43 billion) opportunity as the nation seeks to avoid a repeat of the world’s biggest blackout.

The company expects the federal government to issue orders for new technology, such as static VAR compensators and phasor measurement units, to bolster the national grid and help reduce the mismatch between supply and demand, Alstom T&D Managing Director Rathin Basu told reporters in New Delhi today. The South Asian nation is likely to issue tenders for these technologies by March 2017, he said.

The investment in the grid comes after blackouts on two consecutive days in 2012 left almost 620 million people without electricity and disrupted essential services such as healthcare and railways. The government has since increased penalties to discourage provinces from drawing power in excess of their allocations and has quickened work on improving the grid.

“The static VAR compensator project has been triggered by the blackout, while installation of phasor measurement units has been accelerated by the incident,” Basu said.

Alstom T&D, which has five factories in India, expects a clause in tenders that would favor companies that make their products in India, he said.

The company has orders worth more than 60 billion rupees, which it plans to execute over 22 months. Still, the weakening financial health of some customers, especially some state distribution utilities, has caused a delay in payments, according to Basu.

Rising cost of electricity, power thefts and archaic equipment which leads to the dissipation of electricity in transmission, has pushed some large distribution utilities into losses and burdened them with debt.

Alstom T&D shares advanced 1 percent to 177.05 rupees in Mumbai today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rajesh Kumar Singh in New Delhi at rsingh133@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net

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