Manish Agarwal | VP, Business Head, Power Products and Solution, Sterlite Technologies
How will skill development turn into our strength?
The industry is making concerted efforts in the area of skill development. Recently, IEEMA conductor division has deliberated on the possibilities of a training centre in Silvassa. PARFI?s (PanIIT Alumni Reach in India) model for upgrading skill for the proposed training centre was discussed. Let me encapsulate how it works. Once a demand is assessed to approx. 200 workers per annum for an industry, PARFI identifies where to get unemployed people from. After training for 6-8 weeks, workers get placed in the industry based on their capability. The training curriculum is worked out with the help of the manufacturing companies in that industry.
How is the demand and supply?
Demand´supply scenario in the conductor industry is tilted in favour of supply as the industry capacities are approx. 10 lakh MT, against annual demand hovering over 4-5 lakh MT levels. Having said that, capacity is not an impediment in delivering the projects.
What are the opportunities you see for this industry?
The new government has set a goal to provide uninterrupted power for all by 2019. There is focus on the power sector with 22.5 GW capacity addition, the highest ever increase in transmission lines of approx. 22,100 ckm and substation capacity addition of 65,500 MVA. The government also kicked off the coal block auction, which is expected to benefit close to 35 GW of power generation capacity.
Demand for transmission systems will also intensify to connect the newly commissioned generation assets.
It´s an exciting time for the transmission industry as Rs 38,000 crore projects are being rolled out to ensure evacuation from renewable energy plants under the green energy corridor. The minister committed Rs 1 lakh crore of transmission projects to be bid out over the next year. Another incredible target of the government is to increase the overall renewable capacity target by more than 5 times from 32 GW to 175 GW by 2022.
Market is exhibiting signs of improvement as domestic tendering is witnessing heightened activities. PowerGrid has ramped up its procurement, while state transcos are spending around Rs 20,000 crore annually, which is equivalent to the CAPEX spending of PowerGrid. Increased government focus on higher volt transmission, substantial increase in capacity addition of solar and wind power, overhaul of aged infrastructure etc., will boost demand for cables and conductors.
What is your manufacturing capacity and investment plan?
In terms of conductor manufacturing capacities, we have three facilities totaling capacity of approx. 160,000 MT annually. Given the market outlook and impetus on ´Make in India´ we are committed to add capacities in the near future.
It is worth mentioning that at the central and state transmission and sub-transmission levels, there is an increased consciousness about corridor intensity MW Transfer/meter. There is a huge opportunity that remains to be unearthed in transmission and sub-transmission end-to-end solutions. Service offering increase in corridor intensity, relieving congestion and re-conductoring. Hence, Sterlite has been moving up the value chain by providing system integration engineering for transmission and sub-transmission levels.
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