N Venu Head-Power Systems, ABB India Limited, shares his views on why Indian IPPs prefer to choose Chinese Boiler Turbine Generator (BTG) equipments over domestic ones and how Indian manufactures have improved in their capacity building exercise
What is the business outlook for ABB India in FY2016 and what are the areas with the highest growth potential that ABB will be paying more attention to?
ABB has maintained that this is a very tough market environment. We don´t see new projects happening as the government is slowly dealing with land and coal issues. But, we are cautiously optimistic for this year and are here to take this new upturn in the economy and the power sector. The focus areas would be renewable energy as there is lot of action and ground momentum here. Projects are getting converted into orders and ABB has lots of opportunities and products like converters and control systems in this field. Second focus area would be energy efficiency. As we are now also thinking about ways to make our power plants more efficient and reduce losses. Third focus area would be service. ABB has a huge install base in the country and we will be adding more value added services like enhancing the life of the transformers, system study, load flow study and making the network more efficient.
Do Indian manufacturers or turnkey solution provider have manufacturing capabilities and capacity to cater to the BTG sector?
Definitely! ABB and all the big manufacturers have already built a capacity in India. For example in BTG sector, two years back, we had a contract from BHEL that led to enhance our capacity from 25 to 40 GW per annum. A similar situation has been observed with other manufacturers too. Similarly, on the transmission side, the transformers combined capacity is more than 100,000 MVA. These capacities are built up in anticipation of the turnaround of the economy.
Where does China stand in terms of BTG supply to India? Importantly, why are Indian IPPs often attracted towards the Chinese instead of our own?
There are two reasons why Indian power producers are always attracted to procure BTG equipment from China. First, in India, only BHEL has the capacity to cater to the requirement of 5,000 MW to 8,000 MW, while the industry requirement was for 20,000 MW. Added to that, Chinese equipment players were better in service and delivery time. However, now that India has almost 30,000 MW of manufacturing capacity with companies like L&T-MHI, the situation is not the same and we have sufficient capacity available to cater to future orders.
ABB is also into the electrical balance of plant (BoP) activities. What according to you are the possible key drivers for the BOP market in India?
ABB´s BoP solutions have primarily completed close to 18,000 MW of projects in thermal plants. The big advantage for customers opting for BoP solutions with ABB would be the choice of partner, technology and value addition that the customer receives through an optimized system due to more uniform and reliable technology. This technology has been implemented by ABB in almost every size plant--600 MW or 800 MW. For example, ABB was the first one to commission the 800 MW super critical plant in Krishnapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.
That brings me to ask if ABB has any expansion plans and investment plans outlined?
ABB has always continued to invest and strongly believe in the Indian market and have been present here for several years.
We have been continuously investing and adding the capacity --last year we added our GIS factory, with a long term view. ABB is bringing in a lot of new processes to enhance our capacity and it´s an ongoing process.