Interview – Dr. Govind Bhagwatikar – COO & Director – Sany Wind Energy India

Sany Wind Energy India Private Limited is a start-up OEM in India, which shall soon commence the manufacturing of larger rotor diameter turbines with 131 m & 140 m and with capacities of 2.5 MW with hub heights of more than 120 m….

How would you rate the performance of the wind power segment in India in terms of the opportunities and challenges? What is your outlook for the sector’s growth in India?

Post wind auction/ reverse tariff bidding scenario since start 2017, there have been national & State level wind auctions to the tune of 10 GW which is an impressive start towards the Indian Government’s mission of achieving 60 GW Wind Power installations by 2022.

The sector is paced for an exponential growth with more & more global players like the OEMs, investors entering into India to take away the pie of cake. India wind power industry is considered to be a stable & matured markets in today’s global scenario. States like Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Maharashtra have already come out with their first auctions.

Other states are yet to initiate the same. The ministry of new and renewable energy has committed to auctioning 10,000 MW of projects in 2018 and another 10,000 MW in 2019. Tariffs are also stabilizing now.

Briefly tell us about the company and its experience in the Indian wind power segment, so far? What is the company’s current scale of operations and what are its key offerings in India? Going forward, what will be its focus areas in the segment?

SANY is a global manufacturer of industry-leading construction and mining equipment, port and oil drilling machinery, and wind energy systems. SANY has built 25 manufacturing bases, and offices in 100 countries.
Sany Heavy Energy Co. Ltd is a leading wind turbine manufacturer with a wind turbine fleet of 1.5 to 4 MW platform. Globally Sany Heavy Energy, our parent company has setup more than 3 GW plus installations in China and some in the US & Africa markets as well.

We are now poised to grow exponentially in growing markets like India, Kazakhstan, Brazil etc. Sany Wind Energy India Private Limited is a start-up OEM in India, which shall soon commence the manufacturing of larger rotor diameter turbines with 131 m & 140 m and with capacities of 2.5 MW with hub heights of more than 120 m.
Sany will supply turbines to customers in India on either turnkey model basis or limited to supply scope (only turbines) as per the customers’ requirements.

Also tell us about the company’s manufacturing setup in India? Share with us, some of the unique product features and the company’s USP – that will help in establishing a strong foothold in the Indian wind power market?

Sany already has an existing manufacturing set-up at Chakan Industrial Area, near Pune since 2008 for the Construction Machinery. Sany wind turbines shall be assembled at the same plant as it is centrally & logistically located for sites in West, NW & South India.

We have installed the necessary infrastructure along with adequate cranes, testing set-up and assembly line for the wind turbine nacelle and hub. The blade & towers shall be sourced from China or shall be manufactured locally at our vendors place.

The wind turbine models which Sany is contemplating for the Indian markets are with 2.5 MW as mentioned earlier. The rotor diameters with 131 m/140 m & hub heights of 120 m shall make these turbines as one of the largest available variants available in the India market.

With a lower cut-in & rated speeds, the power curve is improvised to garner the maximum generation at the lower wind speed sites in India (Class III/IV). The AERODYN technology, which Sany has recently acquired for these new turbines will be a technological breakthrough for our new improvised wind turbine platforms.

With already installed prototypes in China, we are looking forward to get these turbine models listed in the MNRE RLMM shortly.

Could you throw some light on the emerging trends in wind turbine technologies? What has been Sany’s contribution in this area?

Sany has always been keeping itself updated with the newer technologies. We have a large R&D centre in China with 600+ engineers and technocrats.

With “high reliability, high generating capacity, low LCOE & intelligent wind farm” as its development criterion, we have developed wind turbines and systems for the medium & low wind speed sites with technology tie-up with AERODYN Germany.

We have lined up the 3 MW+ wind turbine designs with greater hub-heights and rotors.

The fall in wind power tariffs has resulted in shrinking margins for developer and OEM’s, how do you look at the scenario? Do you think it could affect the company’s growth plans in India?

Sany is well poised to enter the Indian wind market with presence in the Indian market for more than 2 decades or so. There is a stiff competition & market pressure to reduce the prices of the Equipment & EPC works and it’s going to be a challenge for Sany for their maiden wind projects in India.

We shall be partnering with IPPs & investors in China and India. We are in touch with some financial institutions and banks in India and China for these projects for funding the project as the Capex / Opex costs, the borrowing cost & associated terms play a pivotal role in getting the desired financial returns for the investors.

What is your view on offshore wind segment progress in India? What kind of growth and opportunities do you see evolving in this space? What are your plans and preparedness to tap on the same?

Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has already announced the policy for off-shore wind power and National Institute Wind Energy has identified potential site in Gujarat & Tamil Nadu coasts.

The impressive peninsular shoreline of India especially at the western, south, southeast sides would be largely beneficial for off-shore project in near future. With global players already operating in the Indian on-shore markets, it would be just a strong government policy with better feed-in tariffs & easy of doing business considering the clearances & permissions to be sought from various government agencies for the off-shore projects.

Sany has installed few off-shore turbines in China, but our more focus in India for next one year would be commence our operations for onshore wind turbine manufacturing and projects. However we are keen to collaborate with investors and IPPs for joint development of offshore wind projects backed by our new wind turbine technologies.

What are company’s future plans in India?

Chairman of Sany Group Mr. Liang Wengen had committed to invest in 2000 MW wind projects and wind turbine manufacturing under “Make in India” to the Prime Minister of India during his visit in 2015. We have taken several steps to move forward in that direction as elaborated above. Sany group believes that Indian wind energy market is an important long term market.

We already have a 2 GW+ greenfield projects identified in the 8 windy states of India with proven wind resource studies done at 100-130 m hub height for the last couple of years. Also few brownfield shovel ready projects are on the anvil, which are being contemplated for our maiden wind power projects in India. We are also exploring the opportunities of manufacturing of wind turbine blades in India and sourcing various wind turbine components from India based suppliers.

This will help us to control supply chain and capex. We are confident to play a significant role in Indian Wind Energy sector going forward.

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