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Updated: April 14, 2010 13:34 IST

Demand for inverters, gensets electrifies manufacturers

Anil Kumar Sastry
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Factories planning to install diesel generator sets and households looking for inverters to beat the long and frequent disruption in power supply may have to wait as demand has outstripped supply.

There is a waiting period of a few weeks for gensets and inverter batteries, which were available off the shelf even a month ago. It is not just they are in short supply, the manufacturers have also increased the prices by over 20 per cent to cash in on the vulnerability of the customers.

Industries usually install gensets with capacities ranging from 75 KV to 1 MW. These are available in a matter of two to three weeks after the order is placed, said Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industries president J. Crasta. However, now industrialists find the waiting period has tripled and even quadrupled, Mr. Crasta told The Hindu.

Production schedules

Industrialists are anxious that the frequent power cuts do not affect production schedules and have been placing orders for gensets. This has pushed up demand by over 25 per cent, he said. Also, the manufacturers have upped the price by over 20 per cent cashing in on the situation, even though value added tax on gensets has been reduced because of FKCCI's demand. As the genset industry is mostly unorganised, exact figures are not available, Mr. Crasta noted.

On the non-industrial front, many households are shopping for power inverters to beat the summer heat. While those who had placed the orders last month got the sets immediately, the situation is not the same any more. People have to wait at least a week for the supply. According to P. Krishnamurthy of Kengeri, though inverters are available, their batteries, particularly 120AH (800 V) tubular ones, are more elusive: hence the wait.

According to Madhushankar Hebbar, proprietor, Sumanth Technologies, Kundapur, the demand for power inverters has more than doubled. He used to sell just three to four sets a month, but he now has orders for at least 15 sets. Batteries are a problem, he said. As there is scarcity in Bangalore too, Mr. Hebbar is sourcing them from Chennai. The prices of batteries too have increased by over Rs. 2,000; not just because of increase in value added tax but also due to increased demand, he said.

While batteries were immediately available on credit even a month back, dealers have to pay cash and book batteries these days to get delivery at least after a week, Mr. Hebbar noted.

The prices of small batteries used for individual computer UPSs (7 AH, 12 V) have also increased from Rs. 420 to Rs. 700, he added.

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