Even replaced transformers are substandard

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    KATHMANDU, Feb 3

    TransformerEven the transformers replaced by the two Chinese companies have been found to be substandard.

    The transformers replaced by JK Holding and Sichuan Dengfeng Limited of China, after the earlier ones were found to be substandard, have showed more than the standard leakage after tests at the central laboratory of the Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) in Hetauda. NEA had tested over 100 transformers of varying capacities manufactured by JK. Its load loss has been found to be much higher than that set by NEA. Load loss in eight transformers of Sichuan of 50 and 100 KV capacities has also been found to be high. NEA has procured over 400 transformers of varying capacities from these two companies alone.

    NEA sources claimed that the report has been kept secret. “They have not revealed the fact that load loss in the tested transformers is high. They have not even submitted reports to get those transformers installed,” an NEA official said. The standards allow installation of the transformers with load loss of up to 10 percent more by recovering compensation from the manufacturers. Managers of NEA Manoj Silwal and Birendra Singh, and Rajesh Sharma from the Bureau of Standards and Metrology are involved in testing the transformers. Silwal stated that the transformers of two companies are being tested. “We are conducting tests and have yet to prepare the final report. We just conduct tests and submit reports and have no information about the standards,” he added.

    NEA has even invited bids for procurement of transformers with its stock of transformers running out. NEA officials fear that the Chinese companies may again come in the name of providing transformers at a lower rate. The sub-committee on quality of transformers formed under the then board member Krishna Prasad Dulal had found that all the transformers manufactured by SVR Electrical of India, Sahabhant Electric Company Ltd of Thailand, and Hubei Sunlight Electric Company Ltd, Shenyang Dongneng Electricity Equipment Company Ltd and Nigwo AUX Hightechnology Company Ltd of China were substandard and showed problems like catching fire, explosion, higher leakage and other complex problems.

    Though the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has initiated action against those officials involved in procurement of substandard transformers from Chinese and Thai companies, there has been no investigation against those involved in procurement from the Indian company SVR. The transformer scam came to the fore after transformers manufactured by Hubei were found to have aluminum winding instead of copper. All the transformers imported from China were found to be substandard during testing. CIAA has taken action against a total of 25 NEA staffers including sitting MD Rameshwor Yadav, former MD Jibendra Jha, former Deputy MD Tikaram BC, and former General Manager (GM) Chiranjivi Sharma Poudel and Chinese nationals and agents of the Chinese companies. It has lodged corruption cases against them at the Special Court.

    CIAA has already stated that there were massive irregularities in procurement of substandard transformers from Chinese, Indian and Thai since 2006 to 2012. NEA had procured over 6,000 transformers of varying capacities worth around Rs 7 billion from around six foreign companies in the period. The study committee formed under the then board member Mukesh Kumar Kafle had also submitted its report stating that the majority of transformers were substandard and had advised the NEA management to only install the procured transformers after testing all of them. But NEA ignored those recommendations and continued installing them without testing them.

    Source : Baburam Khadka / Karobar Daily