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Interaction | December 2016

Expecting thrust to USC technology in new projects

Yoshiaki Inayama | Managing Director, Toshiba JSW Power Systems Pvt Ltd

What is the latest steam turbine generator (STG) technology that you have supplied in India and what is the latest technology available with Toshiba?
Mainly, super critical and ultra super critical (USC) technologies. Toshiba has very good experienced with ultra super critical technology. We have earlier set up a plant in Japan. So we have introduced USC technology in power generation. In India, the first example is the Harduaganj project in Uttar Pradesh. The pressure in Harduaganj project is very high and of USC range. And also similar in efficiency to super critical technology and uses the latest technology. The design of this technology is done by professional Toshiba designers in Japan. So, we can provide the generation efficiency improvement.

Quality is the most important aspect in the USC or the latest technologies. How Indian workers are faring in terms of quality consciousness and commitment? How do you achieve this?
There are simulations for ensuring the quality and it is trainable. The important aspect is how we can ensure that under good process and good procedure. Even though the operator skill level is very good and our process and procedure is poor, then the quality becomes poor. And there is machine also. And if the process is good, the operator is good and the machine maintenance is bad, the quality becomes bad. The three things combined together we are able to ensure a good quality product. Without a good quality operator, we cannot ensure good quality of the product. It is very difficult to talk about Indian operators, generally. In comparison with Japanese, Indian operatorĀ“s capability is good. But look at the trend. In Japanese companies, every employee receives training about quality, keeping punctuality etc. Even if the operator is good, training is indispensable. There is a process, procedure and training. We have to follow training process, safety rules, specified process, in order to ensure safety and quality. The first is basic training and then awareness - safety awareness and quality awareness. So you have to follow each process meticulously. Motivation for following process is also important. If we force them to follow the process, then the motivation will be coming down. So, we have introduced small group activities to discussion and analysis of the current processes and issues, so that they can be improved. We conduct review meeting under the aegis of DRO. The suggestions are not only given by engineers and supervisors, but each operator can participate by proposing or suggesting an improvement. We ensure that kind of motivation, so that, this company is committed to safety and quality.

Do you have any skill development programme, as this factory requires very skilled manpower?
At the time of starting this company, we have despatched 59 members to Japan for training for nine months. Those members became the key members of this company and under their supervision other members work. Besides that we are inviting Japanese experts, engineers and supervisors for each manufacturing process. They check manufacturing process, equipment and train our operators. Second time there is a change, only check is done, no training, and the third time it is only observation. That way, we have developed our manufacturing process and training of members. We have a training facility in the company, especially for welding. Welding is the most important process for us.

What is the ratio of Japanese and Indians in the workforce?
Our workforce of 650 members is 100 per cent Indian, no Japanese. They are there only for training purpose.

For a power plant boilers and turbines are required. But in Chennai plant you are manufacturing only turbines. Are there any plants for making boilers as well? Only steam turbines are manufactured here. We are partnering for the Hardaganji project with Dusan, which also has a plant in Chennai. As an EPC company (Engineering, procurement and construction), we procure various products from others. But basic engineering is designed by our Engineering Design Centre, located at Gurgaon.

The capacity of Chennai plant is 3000 MW and you have plans to scale it up. Can you please give broader timeframe for the same?
We have plans for expansion of present capacity. However, the current Indian power sector condition is not good. We are awaiting recovery from this market condition. As of now, we are not taking it forward.

When do you expect the scenario to change and become conducive?
I was talking in the context of Indian power generation. The focus will shift to efficient of generation systems. So the technology focus will move from sub-critical to super critical to ultra super critical. I forgot to mention that Harduaganj project is of ultra super critical category. It has very high steam temperature and pressure, and has very good efficiency. We are expecting the new projects to shift to USC technology.

The second is current operating costs and efficiency of the equipment. Compared to Japanese plants Indian plantsĀ“ efficiency is very low, because of poor maintenance. Japanese plant load factor is very high. We hope efficiency will happen in India soon through good maintenance and service.

And also the government is planning to expend nuclear capacity using heavy water reactor or light water reactor technologies. In case of nuclear capability, Toshiba has group company Westinghouse, which has reactors in US and China. If they come to India, hopefully we would like to supply steam turbine reactors for nuclear power plants.

This is another area. The last is the renewable energy. It is also an important area for India and the world. This is also another area of opportunity not only for us, but for other group companies. Toshiba has many companies in India. Japanese Headquarter is separate. So I hope Toshiba can expand into this area also.

India is a very important country for Toshiba. That is the reasons why Toshiba has made huge investments in India - Not only our company, a T&D company, water treatment company, software company, logistics company etc.

What is the order book position here?
So far, for four projects we have got the order - Kudgi, Mundra, NTPC Darlipali and Harduaganj. Value-wise it is USD1.3 billion. It is equal to 2-3 years our capacity.

- BS Srinivasalu Reddy

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