Level-playing field is the need of the hour, says Ramesh Kyamal
Wind power technology major Gamesa is in the process of setting up a third plant, which will manufacture nacelles at Mamandur, near Chennai.
The plant will be ready for production by June this year, said Ramesh Kymal, Chairman and Managing Director of Gamesa Wind Turbines Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Euro 3.6 billion Gamesa group of Spain.
“We have identified the land and the capacity of the proposed plant will be 1,500 MW of both 2 MW machines and 850 kW machines on a single shift basis,” Mr. Kymal said in an interview with The Hindu here recently.
The Mamandur plant is also part of Rs.750-crore investment of Gamesa on its India operations. An assembly plant in Red Hills, on the outskirts of Chennai, and one making blades at a 110 acre site in Vadodara, Gujarat, are the other manufacturing facilities of the company in the country.
Sounding upbeat about the market for wind turbines in the country, Mr. Kymal said the company offered products suited to the Indian conditions. The decision to set up another plant, he added, was in tune with its objective to increase the share of indigenous components. “We are looking at 60-65 per cent indigenisation to keep the cost under control and also reduce the risk of exchange rate fluctuation,” he said, adding that a major strength of the company was its focus on prompt, round-the-clock service. Towards this, as much as 50 per cent of the total workforce of 1,000 persons was on the service side, he said.
These strategies have helped the company, which began its operations two-and-half years ago, triple manufacturing. “First year we said 100 MW but did 200 MW, the next year we did 600 MW as against the target of 300 MW. This year we will do 750 MW,” he said, adding “We have gone to Sri Lanka and are looking at Maldives.”
On wind energy scenario, Mr. Kymal, who is also the Chairman of Indian Wind Turbine Manufacturers Association, said from the times, in early 1990s, when upfront incentives and accelerated depreciation attracted companies to harness wind power, the situation had changed. The hardcore shortage of power fuelled the growth, though there was still the need for the government to continue with incentives to encourage independent power producers (IPPs).
The power situation in the country was a serious issue, he said, adding that the demand would only go up in view of the demographic patterns.
Wind power alone is not the only answer as “we have the technical expertise to harness renewable energies and create small hybrid power systems. The need of the hour is to take a holistic approach to our power problem and renewables have to play a major role,” he said.
In terms of expectations from the Union Budget 2012, he said a level playing field was the need of the hour. The Generation Based Incentive (GBI) should be increased and accelerated depreciation scheme for the IPPs should be continued in the XII Plan.
Improving the funding, for the IPPs, is another requirement. “It is our endeavour to see that primary sector lending for the wind power project increases and the IPPs are allowed to sell power in the open access to anybody willing to. This way the IPPs can get a remunerative price for the power,” he explained.