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August 23, 2019

Volume 7 Issue 4

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Outlook Robust for Transformer Oil in India

MUMBAI, India – The outlook for transformer oil demand in India remains robust because of expected growth in the country’s power demand and the government’s focus on boosting power generation and distribution, an industry insider said at a conference here earlier this month.

India’s total 2018 transformer oil demand was estimated at 375,000 to 425,000 metric tons in 2018, according to United States-based consultancy Kline & Co.

India remains a major growth center and is Asia’s third-largest economy. As a result, the country’s power demand is expected to grow from 1.2 trillion kilowatt hours in financial year 2018-19 to 1.9 trillion units by 2022-2023, Hareesh Nalam, a senior consultant with Kline & Co.’s energy practice, said here at the Asia, Middle East and Africa Bitumen and Base Oil Conference, organized by Petrosil Group.

The government has initiated several programs aimed at boosting power generation and distribution in the country, he said, adding that power distribution companies might also need to replace the existing Energy Efficiency Level 2 transformers with Level 3 transformers.

“Just imagine the scale of new transformers required and the transformer oil required if, phase- wise, all the [existing] transformers are replaced with Level 3 transformers,” Nalam said. He noted that steep growth in the country’s power generation over the last 10 years has been possible due to the government initiatives, and this has led to high growth in demand for transformer oil, also known as electrical oil.

The transformer oil, mainly blended with very light grades of base stocks, is used in distribution and power transformers, switchgears and circuit breakers.

He said industrial growth, along with the government’s resolve to increase rural electrification, will drive growth in the Indian power sector, and transformer oil demand will be directly linked to growth in the power sector.

“While demand for other lubricants used in the power sector may be dampened due to growing penetration of solar power plants, transformer oil demand will grow [unabated],” Nalam noted. He didn’t provide the expected growth number.

Nalam said India is also a big exporter of transformer oil and shipped about 60,000 tons in 2018 to various markets in Africa and the Middle East.

India power plant transformers

Photo: CRS PHOTO/Shutterstock

High voltage transformers and high voltage electric converters equipment in a hydroelectric power plant at Sardar Sarovar Dam on the Narmada river in Gujarat, India. The outlook for transformer oil demand in India remains robust because of expected growth in the country’s power demand and the government’s focus on boosting power generation and distribution.