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Feature | February 2016

Gas based gensets to see demand pick-up

Vijay Varma, Chairman, Indian Diesel Engine Manufacturers Association

What has been the growth trend in demand for DG sets in India over the last two years and how do you see this panning out in the next two years, and why?
There is hardly any change in the demand for gensets in the country. We expect that in coming years, demand for gas-fuelled gensets will go up significantly as piped gas is available at several geographies and higher level of emission control is expected by authorities, society and user industry. This trend will be noticeable in metro cities. We expect the demand to pick-up in-line with the economic growth rate and capital expenditure in the economy. Moreover, grid supply power availability has improved considerably, so gensets are installed as standby source of power, not as prime source of power as in the past. For projects, events, and other short term use, renting of gensets is increasing.

Which are the DG set segments that Indian manufacturers are present in prominently?
Our members manufacture generating sets up to 6 MW and even higher. For larger capacities, multiple sets are installed in parallel. Moreover, manufacturers offer sets running on all available fuels - diesel, heavy fuel, natural gas , bio-mass etc. Thus, Indian manufacturers are present in the entire range of genset demand in the country.

Is there any impact of slowdown in the power generation sector growth because of debt-ridden discoms and entry of solar power and storage batteries on the demand for DG sets?

What are the segments in which Indian DG set manufacturers are adopting global benchmarks in technologies and in which sectors we are lagging?
Indian emission regulations are generally aligned with EU regulations, but with some lag due to non-availability of low sulphur fuels. However in genset, we have no such alignment yet. Required fuels of low sulphur content (10 ppm) are expected in 2020 - 2021. Thus, next level of emission improvement will be available to consumers after that. Our members have developed required technologies so that they can be produced once the compatible fuels are available.

What are the levels of imports of DG sets into India? How imports are affecting domestic manufacturers and why?
Imports are minimal. Imports are due to specific reasons such as projects funded from abroad. The imports are rarely due to economic considerations or technology superiority.

How Indian DG sets industry is faring in exports? What are the measures needed to boost exports, and how adoption of global standards will help?
Our members do export generating sets which are well appreciated by customers. We expect that exports will accelerate as global economy recovers.

Measures needed to increase exports are not different from those for increasing engineering exports in general. These are infrastructure improvements, and improving ease of doing business with foreign customers.

What is the share of unorganised sector in DG set manufacturing? How does it affect adoption of global quality standards/benchmarks?
By law, generating sets manufactured by unorganised sector cannot be sold as each set is required to comply with emission regulations. The manufacturers, who meet these stringent regulations cannot be labelled as unorganised. Each manufacturer has to obtain certification for products after rigorous testing by specified reputed labs such as ARAI, VRDE, I-CAT. It is rather difficult for ¨unorganised¨ manufacturers to meet the requirements.

What are the emerging trends in DG set technologies and what is the contribution of India in R&D of DG sets?
Technology trends include usage of electronic control and monitoring of engines, fitment of after-treatment devices will become necessary, and concepts like hybrid gensets, variable speed gensets are likely to find favour with certain customers. Monitoring and control of gensets though internet is already being done by a few customers.

Our members have contributed significantly to development of technology as at times Indian emission norms are more stringent than global norms. So, specific technology is developed and applied. These technologies do find use in global markets.

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