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Behala firm to equip Qatar FIFA World Cup power transformers

10 November, 2022 14:44:55
Behala firm to equip Qatar FIFA World Cup power transformers

As the as the clock ticks away, FIFA World Cup fever grips football fans across the globe. Qatar, the tiny Gulf host nation, is busy checking up last-minute arrangements as it gears up to receive more than a million soccer fans for the international sport event. During the 29-day extravaganza, a total of 64 matches will be played across eight venues -- Al Bayt Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Thumama Stadium, Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Lusail Stadium, Stadium 974, Education City Stadium and Al Janoub Stadium and the host country is leaving no stones unturned to make it a seamless and memorable event for all the participants as well as spectators.

In an international event of such magnitude, West Bengal will have a vital role to play. Sounds incredible but it is true. West Bengal-based electrical component company, BMC Electroplast Private Limited, is the first ever Indian company to supply transformers to the FIFA World Cup at Qatar! Around 3,000 transformers manufactured by the company will secure power distribution in stadia and related infrastructure during the 22nd edition of the FIFA World Cup to be flagged off on November 20.

This is indeed a proud moment for Bengal! Located at Bakrahat Road in Thakurpukur, BMC Electroplast Private Limited is an MSME (Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) unit, that manufactures a wide range of electrical products like Retrofit Vacuum Circuit Breakers (VCB), Megavolt (Mv) Switchgears Component, Indoor Horizontal Isolation VCB, Mv Switchgears Component and Indoor Horizontal Isolation VCB etc. The company has supplied 50 per cent of the total voltage and current transformers required for the FIFA World Cup soccer event. Current (CTs) and voltage (VTs) transformers are critical components in the power distribution system. The transducers, CTs and VTs, represent an extremely important element in the protection chain and inadequate selection of their respective characteristics can lead to inadequate protection of the network and machines or to unwanted trips (which in many cases are even more damaging). The CTs and VTs are part of a switchgear that also includes fuses, switches, relays, isolators, circuit breaker, indicating device, lightning arresters, etc. The switchgear systems are connected to the electric supply system. It's placed in both the low and high voltage of the power transformer. It's used for de-energizing the equipment for maintenance and testing to eradicate the defect.

Qatar Electricity & Water Corporation, commonly known as ‘Kahramaa’ is the sole transmission and distribution system owner and operator (TDSOO) for the electricity and water sector in Qatar and it took two years for BMC Electroplast Private Limited to get its prototype approved by Kahramaa’ which follows stringent quality norms. After approval, the agency finalized the deal for Rs 35 crore.

The entire process began way back in 2010 when Tamco Switchgear (Malaysia), an erstwhile L&T company but currently controlled by MNC power equipment major Schneider, selected BMC Electroplast as its vendor for the electrical equipment. The company met the benchmark and clenched the deal. The company supplied the equipment in 2017 and now the critical components are up and running and helping power distribution system in the temperature-controlled stadia, walkways and other infrastructure. This project has given the company a major boost and opened the way to make inroads in other Middle East countries. The approval from Kahramaa was the most stringent in the region and it helped get almost automatic approval from all other countries in that region.

The engineer partners of BMC Electroplast, Siddhartha Mitra, Subodh Banerjee, Rajiv Bhargava and Girish V Magre, are jubilant as they look forward to more such global business deals in the near future after a major slump following the pandemic. “The Covid-19 pandemic had hit the manufacturing industry sharply. Prior to the pandemic, the company was flourishing, exporting 25 to 30 per cent of its products abroad. In fact, after the World Cup order was delivered on time in 2017, steady export enquiries were trickling in, but the pandemic put an abrupt halt to all business ventures. Post pandemic supply chain disruptions and hefty freight costs have made it difficult to reclaim lost ground soon. However, we are hopeful of reviving exports from the next fiscal year,” Mitra said.

Meanwhile, we Bengalis shall bask in reflected glory as the excitement of the FIFA World Cup matches will spill over to our living rooms from our television screens and we will cheer for our favourite players and teams, we will hopefully remember how a Kolkata-based company shines there as an integral part of the infrastructure marvel at Qatar.

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