Distribution Transformers play a very important and vital role in delivering electricity to the last mile. It can be rightly said that the Distribution industry is bringing light in the life of the people. The thrust by the Indian Government to provide quality power to each village and every household through various schemes of electrification like DDUGJY/ IPDS/ RAPDRP/ Saubhagya has given a huge fillip to the demand of distribution transformers all over India.
The demand of Distribution transformers is catered majorly by the domestic Industry and the import of transformers is very marginal/ project specific. The Industry is dominated by unorganised MSME units which are spread all over India and are mainly supplying to their state utilities. There are large scale units also which apart from having Pan India presence are also engaged in export of transformers.
The transformers produced in India have been brought under mandatory BIS certification, resulting in standardisation of the product, which has resulted in improvement of quality and reduction of failure of transformers. The distribution transformers have also been brought under mandatory BEE star labelling scheme which has resulted in the use of modern technology in manufacturing energy efficient transformers.
The demand of distribution transformers will keep on increasing due to increase in generation capacity of both conventional and non-renewable sources due to increase in per capita consumption of electricity and new avenues like electric vehicle charging stations etc. The demand will also increase due to replacement of old transformers with energy efficient transformers.
The challenges faced by the industry is the lack of mandatory guidelines for installation and maintenance of transformers, bad earthing practices, overloading of transformers, tampering/ bypassing the protection equipment, theft of material/ oil which leads to fire and failure of transformers. The payment position by the utilities, though has improved due to UDAY scheme and MSMED act, needs to be further streamlined.
The main raw material of transformers which accounts for major cost is CRGO/ Amorphous, is not produced in India and is wholly imported. The dearth of the same and its rate fluctuations hampers the timely supply of transformers. The supply of low grade /defective CRGO steel, though banned by the quality control order, entering through various ports is severely affecting the quality and cost of the transformers. The loopholes should be plugged and efforts should be made to start manufacturing of CRGO/ Amorphous core in India under ‘make in India program.