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Communication Feature | August 2014

There is a lack of rationalisation of power tariffs

Pramod V Hargude, Assistant Vice President & Head - PIRE (Power Infrastructure & Renewable Energy), a division of Godrej & Boyce, speaks on his company´s expansion plans and the state of the renewable energy market in India.

Please tell us about the philosophy behind Godrej Electricals & Electronics and the ´Power Infrastructure and Renewable Energy´ department.

Established in 1897, the Godrej group has been a symbol of enduring ideals in a changing world. With seven major companies with interests in real estate, FMCG, industrial engineering, appliances, furniture, security and agri-care, we are proud to be contributing to India´s economic prowess in every vital sector. We are working with a mission to put Godrej in every home and workplace. The Godrej Group touches the lives of almost 500 million Indians who use at least one of our products or service every single day. Our commitment to quality, attention to detail and customer centricity has helped us earn the trust of generations of Indians.

I am heading Power Infrastructure & Renewable Energy vertical in E&E division where our prime objective is to serve the nation by building world class transmission and distribution infrastructure and give the gift of cleaner environment to posterity by building solar power plants. We provide end-to-end solutions and world-class services by setting quality benchmarks and redefining customer satisfaction.

We have requisite infrastructure, experienced and trained engineers and affiliated contractors for completing prestigious projects in the infrastructure sector. We hold the expertise to execute the substations, transmission line jobs on turnkey basis up to 400kV level for State Electricity Boards/Central Utilities as well as industrial customers. We are also having a healthy order book with a clear visibility for the next three years in the power transmission and distribution segment.

We also execute Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) contracts for massive establishments which include industrial, residential, commercial, call-centres, malls, hospitals and industrial exhibition grounds. We keep a track of changing trends in our field and maintain all the quality and safety parameters in our work culture. Our division has already secured registration from PWD and other State electrical inspectorates and is recognised by various electricity boards and public sector companies.

We are ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001 certified and also proud recipient of several recognitions like:

  • Best Employer Award 2008 (NASEOH-India),
  • BNHS Green Governance Award - 2005 for the Category -Conservation & Restoration of Habitat
  • Economic Times Corporate Excellence Awards-2003
  • 2011 Business Standard Award : Most Innovative Company of the Year
  • We offer solutions for following sectors:
  • Renewable Energy especially Solar EPC
  • Power Transmission & Distribution

What has been your success in solar projects?
From the base of delivering reliable energy solutions to various streams, Godrej seeks to be the front runner of the solar revolution in India. By harnessing the abundant sunlight´s energy through latest technology, we make solar energy affordable to millions as well as reducing the carbon footprint of the country. We are committed to deliver reliable turnkey EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) services and build small and large grid-connected/off-grid solar power plants across India. In rural electrification, Godrej is keen to play a pivotal role in making energy accessible to thousands of people, providing clean, affordable energy to meet basic needs of the poor, reducing poverty, meeting development challenges and pursuing inclusive growth. Rural electrification is not just bringing light to villages, it is also about irrigating fields, electrifying schools, etc.

Godrej & Boyce is an accredited MNRE channel partner with SP 1A rating, for availing the capital subsidies and other benefits and to power the Go Green Initiative of Godrej. We will be assisting industries/developers/captive users by offering end-to-end EPC for Multi MWp grid connected power plant/off-grid/power packs/rooftop systems/power buy through PPA & SPO option.

The revolution has just begun and the journey of miles starts with a single step. Godrej Renewables is set for this noble green journey and is committed to be the front-runner in ushering the solar revolution in India.

Which projects have you completed recently?
We have recently commissioned some prestigious grid connected solar projects in different parts of the country like Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai and National Capital Region. We have completed projects for different customers like industrial units, hospitals, commercial consumers, Government buildings etc. We also completed projects in the Transmission & Distribution sector in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat etc.

What is your opinion regarding the Government´s policies in the infrastructure sector overall and power sector in particular?
To ensure the creation of world-class infrastructure for our country going forward, the process of awarding contracts needs to be overhauled to ensure a level playing field and selection of most deserving party to execute the contract. All the pertinent information like Detailed Project Reports (DPR), land ownership records etc. needs to be made available at the time of inviting interests itself. Also, the model of execution of the project should also be suitably identified so that the developer is assured of timely payments upon completion of project milestones.

The prices of petrol and diesel have been deregulated to a large extent but the same cannot be said about electricity prices. There is a lack of rationalization of power tariffs which continue to remain skewed in favor of certain sections while putting other sections of consumers at a disadvantage at the same time. Commercial and industrial consumers pay exorbitantly high tariffs for power so that the retail and agricultural consumers can get power at prices that are lower than even cost of supply. And then there are consumers who do not pay for electricity at all. It is no secret that the AT&C losses are unacceptably high in most States and the combined losses of State distribution companies is so high that the government had to bring in a special restructuring program in 2012 for their revival.

It is high time that the sector is made free of all levels of political interference.

What are your plans going forward?
At Godrej & Boyce, we have a vision of growing ten times by 2022, but at PIRE, we are aspiring to grow 20 times in the same period. We aim to become a trusted end-to-end solutions provider in the solar energy space and be the preferred partner for all customers - industrial, commercial and residential. In the Transmission and Distribution segment, we are focusing on the increasingly challenging projects in difficult terrains and complex geographies. We are looking at both vertical as well as horizontal integration options to provide complete solutions to our customers and achieve meaningful growth.

By 2020, we aspire to become one of the top five EPC players in the country.

Which are the major projects that you have in hand?
We are executing an ADB funded project in the distribution sector and a solar project in Bihar besides doing projects in transmission and distribution sector in other States like Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.

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