Ashish Chaturvedy, Marketing Manager, Ducab
Tell us about Ducab and its areas of operations?
Ducab is in its 40th year and was started by a British company-BICC- jointly with the Dubai government way back in 1979. Over the years, with strategic decisions, the British ownership of the business was taken over by Abu Dhabi government. From 2000 onwards, 50 per cent stake is held by the Dubai government and the remaining 50 per cent is held by the Abu Dhabi government. In terms of assets, currently we have around 49 factories around the world making us one of the largest cable companies.
BICC used to be the largest cable company in the world. They have set up around 49 factories around the world. We have been expanding rapidly since then with an overall investment in expansion standing at around $1.5 billion. About 60 per cent of the production is export oriented. Around 50 per cent of the revenue is being generated by the cables and wire business and the remaining 50 per cent in terms of value comes from metals business, which is aluminium-rod and copper-rod business.
The copper rod business is mainly an export-oriented activity which ends up as the raw material for the electrical industry. Hence, indirectly, most of our competitors here in India are consuming copper rods for their cable and wire production. Copper and aluminium are the biggest conductors of electricity, and every player in the electrical business whether you are in transformer business or winding business or cable and wire production or transmission will need these two metals essentially to be able to transmit energy/electricity from point A to point B. So, even if we are not directly supplying our cables, we make our presence through aluminium or copper rods.
So, you mean to say there is a little bit of Ducab in every project...
Absolutely! In India we are already one of the largest players in the copper rod import business. Ducab metals currently hold about 25 per cent of the market share of all imported copper rod coming into the country. And we are supplying to almost everyone single reputed cable and wire producer in the country. As we speak, they are buying Ducab copper rod from our centre in Abu Dhabi.
The other area of presence for Ducab in the local market has been quite old. But, one of the most credible projects that we first partnered with was way back in 2003 - 2004 for the first phase of Delhi Metro. Additionally, we are providing our raw materials to Lucknow metro, Delhi metro and several other projects in niche areas. That is as far as the presence of the group is concerned in the Indian market.
But, what brings Ducab to India?
There are a couple of reasons for being in India. First, to be able to extend our corporation with the existing cable industry in India since we have the entire portfolio of services and products available, along with backward integration with metals division.
We are offering both-conductors with metal division-and, with our new aluminium plant opening in Abu Dhabi last year, we are now able to offer copper rod and supplementing that with aluminium rods and overhead conductors for transmission division for the ever-expanding electrical networks within the country. Having said that, a few areas of special interest for us is solar and we are also keen on partnering with like-minded partners in the country for metro and mobility divisions. So, these are the two areas which we are extending our expertise and support to contractors and consultants who are working on these projects here in India. The third area of interest for us is the overall energy transmission on specific projects which is general building construction projects, housing projects, hospitals, schools, which require specific fire performance cables. These are Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB) approved, and not many global producers have approvals for fire performance cables certified by LPCB UK. These are the ones you will specifically use for dense areas like schools, malls, building complex, commercial offices, residential areas where you need circuit integrity for special services if in case of a fire.
You said one of your interests is in solar. Does Ducab have specialised cables for solar too?
There is a full range of Ducab Solar Cables which is internationally approved with regulatory bodies and we have already been producing this for the last couple of years supplying to some of the largest solar plants. The largest is actually under construction in Dubai. The Mohammed Bin Rashid Solar Park, once fully operational, is going to be 5,000 MW at a single site in all of Middle East. Many areas in the world have abundant sunshine available and land, and UAE has chosen to go that way to be able to develop the largest solar parks and complement their already fossil rich economies with renewable. Solar and nuclear are going to be the largest clean energy solutions undertaken by any government in any part of the world at the moment. They (Dubai government) are way ahead in terms of harnessing the power of solar and wind in renewable and has complemented with nuclear to complete the portfolio for what they call clean energy solutions. They have already taken a lead as a forward-looking economy UAE with nuclear in Abu Dhabi. And solar and wind in Dubai to be able to go upto 75 per cent of installed capacity as clean energy by 2075.
How are you taking the advantage of Smart Cities Mission?
We are looking at two ways for it to be able to be a part of this smart cities initiative launched by the Prime Minister of India. We are looking to partner with like-minded players who can help us setting up manufacturing facility in times to come. That is one way for us to be able to be a part of the whole smart cities concept and Digital India scheme by being present here through our own modern manufacturing plant. The other option that we are considering is to be able to partner with someone through a brownfield project which could be an existing facility and we could take a joint venture initiative to partner with them, and try and extend.
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