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APEPDCL plans to induct covered conductors

Development works groundbreakings

VISAKHAPATNAM: AP Eastern Power Distribution Company Limited (APEPDCL) is planning to adopt a new technology for electricity lines called ‘Covered Conductor’ on the lines of those in advanced countries and Karnataka in India.

Covered conductors are nothing but electricity lines covered with an insulator. They are cheaper than underground power cabling and safer as well. The main objective is to overcome transmission constraints that cause intermittent power supply.

The discom will take up the project with World Bank loan assistance and the conductors will have to be imported from Sweden.

With implementation of covered conductors, power consumers will not face frequent power cuts due to falling trees, heavy winds, rains, or fall of other objects, animals or birds on power supply lines.

The discom is planning to start covered conductors in Visakhapatnam district on a pilot basis and extend it to the remaining four districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, East and Godavari districts subsequently. The priority would be given to outskirts of the city where there is no underground project taking place.

According to the discom staff, a total of 110.63 kms of existing electricity line of 33 kv line would be replaced with the covered conductors in the entire district. This apart, a total of 636.1 km of 11 kv electricity lines would be replaced with the converted conductors.

“Rs 15 lakh would be required to replace one km of electricity line with the covered conductors. Overall, Rs 120 crore would be spent to take up the covered conductor project in the entire district,” said a senior discom official belonging to the technical department. The officer further said, “It is much cheaper than the cost of underground cabling, it needs very little space, and it is much safer. Though it would be no use after the underground cable project gets completed in the city, it would be much useful in the rest of the district,” he said.

Confirming this to TOI, APEPDCL superintending engineer M Satyanarayana Murthy said the project is under the preparatory stage. They are currently identifying the area to implement the project and would later prepare the detailed project report (DPR). “If everything goes according to our plans, we hope to start the project in the next six months ,” Murthy said.