700 oil-based power transformers in Delhi to be replaced

Monday, December 13, 2010

NEW DELHI - Delhi’s private power distribution companies BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) and BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) will replace around 700 oil-based transformers, located mainly in basements, to address safety and environmental concerns, a statement said Monday.

“The oil-based transformers will be replaced by dry transformers in several residential and commercial buildings. Of the total, 403 such transformers belong to BRPL and the rest are of BPYL,” the statement said.

According to an official, the two firms have around 10,000 oil-based transformers in the capital. However, not all are “unsafe”, since many are lodged in open spaces. The ones to be replaced are mostly kept in the basements of buildings, rendering them unsafe.

“Oil-based transformers contain mineral oils, which are combustible in nature and any leakage can lead to a fire-hazard. Moreover, burning of the oil releases toxic gases, which in a closed environment can be harmful. Dry transformers give freedom on both these counts,” a BSES spokesperson said.

Dry transformers have low operational costs, last longer and are moisture proof.

“The programme, which will cost around Rs.112 crore is expected to complete over the next one year,” it added.

The transformers will be replaced in areas like Kalkaji, I.P. Extension, Bhikaji Cama Place, Vasundhara Enclave, Som Vihar, Pushp Vihar, Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, and Mayur Vihar I and II.

On June 13, 1997, a blaze in an oil-based transformer in the basement of the Uphaar cinema here rapidly spread through the building, killing 59 people. Since then, there have been many near accidents but no casualties.

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