Wire & Cable India
Special Feature

HPL Electric & Power Ltd.

The government initiatives like Smart City Mission and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) will significantly help in expanding the sale of fire-resistant cables… The demand for products like fire-survival cables has increased as compared to the previous year and is expected to rise in the near future.

Cable Application Standards in India

Mr. Gautam Seth, Joint Managing Director,
HPL Electric & Power Ltd.

As the awareness about fire safety is growing, the Bureau of Indian Standards has incorporated various tests as per international standards in its different cable specifications. All the required tests are done as per these standards, and the manufacturers meeting the certain parameters are allowed to put ISI seal/emblem on their cable. The Indian wire and cable industry is moving away from the unorganized space and is transitioning to be an organized sector consisting of pan-India branded and big players. The wire and cable market in India is growing at a CAGR of 15 percent and the market size is expected to keep growing in the coming years.

In India, the major challenge is with the installation, operation and maintenance of the electrical supply and use. Any negligence leads to fatal electrical accident in the majority of cases. The main issue is that there is a lack of awareness around safety standards as well as about the installation and operation-protocol for the electrical systems, which leads to accidents. Therefore, there is an urgent need to create public awareness of the potential hazards through different mediums. Secondly, the training of electrical workforce with regard to safety plays a major role in keeping the electrical systems in good operational condition and this also reduces the hazards of short circuits and electrical fires.

Fire-Safe Cables by the Company and the Manufacturing Capabilities

HPL has been promoting and creating awareness on electrical safety through its vendor network and keeps customers and distributors aware about the key safety features and aspects of all our products. Our product range is certified with Indian and International standards conforming to highest safety standards. We educate our customers to buy only the certified products and about good operation and maintenance practices that enhances the safety and durability of electrical systems and products.

HPL Electric & Power manufactures the following:

  • Fire alarm cables- Stranded/Solid copper conductor PVC insulated & ATC drawn wire.
  • Speaker Cable-FR (Fire retardant) grade PVC compound twin parallel, HPL speaker wire consists of two or more electrical conductors individually insulated by plastic (such as PVC, PE or Teflon)
  • Fire survival Cable- Shielding: Core/pair/triad/Quads with Mica/glass fire barrier tape.

The production at the manufacturing facilities is supervised by the technical team who are highly competent and skilled in terms of technology, quality and design.

Since an enhanced fire-retardant property in insulation plays a major role in fire safety, thus, the cables are insulated or jacketed by such a blend of insulation which is more resistant to fire. We are offering cables with fire-retardant PVC, fire-retardant low smoke PVC, extremely low smoke and halogen free compound. Further, we are developing the FR-LSH (Flame Retardant Low Smoke Halogen) cables which is made up of bare-annealed copper and unicolour FR-LSH PVC. Our heat resistant cables can withstand up to 85 to 105 degree Celsius. Our zero halogen fire-retardant cables are recommended specially in situations where high degree of safety of personnel and equipment like in – hotels, theaters, hospitals, high-rise buildings, residential properties etc.

The different certifications attained by our company are-

  • Certificate of MCCB/RCCB validity
  • Plug and socket validity
  • Certificate of compliance-Techno
  • ISI mark guidelines
  • Certificate of marking COS family
  • Certificate of compliance-MCB/MCCB Distribution Board

Each HPL product conforms to the highest standards of safety and are certified with Indian and International standards such as ISI, CE, and KEMA.

Market-Potential of Fire-Safe Cables in India

In the coming years, the fire-resistant cable market is likely to follow a rising trend. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand from the industrial sector had declined to a certain extent. Due to the economic crisis, several large construction projects were halted ort suspended. This decline in the construction spending in India has in turn result in the decline in the demand for fire-resistant market products. In India, the government initiatives like Smart City Mission and the Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT) will significantly help in expanding the sale of fire-resistant cables in the future. If the government implements these initiatives at the ground level, then the market-potential for these products can increase. Another growth factor in the fire-resistant cable market share is the developments in the automotive market, such as in automotive electric circuits of passenger cars, bikes, trains, etc.

The Indian market for the fire-retardant cables is gradually picking up. The demand for products like fire-survival cables has increased as compared to the previous year and is expected to rise in the near future. Better safety standards and awareness about safety requirements are being imposed by regulatory authorities, leading to the increased use of fire-resistant cables especially for – commercial complexes, airports, metro railway projects, hospitals, etc. Moreover, the cable manufacturers are educating and creating the awareness among customers on the importance of fire-resistant cables and flame-retardant cables.

Cost-Effectiveness of Fire-Safe Cables

As fires have been a major cause of losses of both human lives as well as property, consequently, safety from fire becomes one of the major areas of focus for us. As a matter of fact, 90% of the fire accidents are electrical fires, mainly caused by a Defective Electric Circuit (DEC). DEC can be caused by overloading, short circuit, faulty installation, or due to poor quality of products used, poor quality of raw materials, or poor quality of manufacture. The sufferer is mainly the common man, who has to bear the brunt of mistakes or cost-cutting measures of someone else. As cost becomes a crucial factor in almost all purchase decisions and when it comes to fire-safe cables manufacturing then it increases as per requirement. Fire-retardant cables use a better grade of PVC compounds and can be 3-5% costlier than the normal PVC cables. However, fire resistant cables are costlier by about 15-25% depending on the size. In simple words, the higher the cross section of the cable (higher metal component), the lesser is the increase in cost for making it fire resistant or flame retardant.

Present-day builders do follow the electrical safety guidelines formed by the government, but a majority of the owners of buildings, small mills and factories still rely on normal PVC cables to fire-retardant cables. In the manufacturing of fire-retardant cable, many issues are raised like environmental, health and safety. Apart from this disposal of residue also become so challenging for the industries. These are mostly related to the effect of PVC, plasticizers, cadmium, lead and brominated flame retardants.

Efforts Undertaken to Educate the Consumers

HPL has been promoting and creating awareness on electrical safety through its vendor network and keeps customers and distributors aware on key safety features and aspects of all our products. All our products are certified with Indian and International standards conforming to highest safety standards. We educate our customers to buy only certified products and on good operation and maintenance practices that enhance safety and durability of electrical systems and products. Our company has put together a team of young electrical engineers responsible for educating the customers at the district-level on fire safety measures and the importance of fire-safe cables. We have been educating the final users on how the best results can be obtained through these cables.

Government’s Focus and Efforts to Raise Awareness

Government initiatives like Smart City Mission and AMRUT are significantly helping in expanding the demand and sales of fire-resistant cables. The cable manufacturers in India follow International Standards as the complete specifications are yet to be implemented by Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS). Nowadays, the builders are gradually shifting to fire-retardant cables to lower the risk of fire.

Presently, there is a need for the Centre, State and the Provincial governments to jointly enforce stringent fire safety regulations. The regulatory and statutory framework in terms of the Electricity Act, Electricity rules and the Central Electricity Authority Regulations has been completed but their implementation become a huge challenge. Apart from this, there is a need of a law to enforce the implementation of the National Building Code. Some favorable changes in the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) laws should also be done. There is a strong need to raise knowledge about critical requirements for fire-safety and prevention. Thus, creating awareness among public over fire-safety is a crucial step in the direction of preventing loss of lives and property from fire.

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