SCHWING Stetter India (SSI) has set up a fabrication unit and a solar power plant at its manufacturing complex near Chennai. While the fabrication unit is aimed at achieving two key benefits as part of its localisation strategy, the new 100 kwp (kilowatt peak) solar plant has been installed to save on power costs as also meet the energy needs of production units. The fabrication unit has been established at an investment of Rs.65 crore for customising different variants of the boom pump.

“This has been set up to cut huge costs involved in import of some equipment. Fabrication unit will not only help us to be more cost-competitive with localised works, but also lead to ramping up our overall manufacturing capacity by 30-40 per cent,” Anand Sundaresan, Vice-Chairman & Managing Director, SSI, said.

With the new fabrication unit, cost of its boom bump would come down to about a crore of rupees from Rs.1.4-1.5 crore earlier. The company has been continuously focussing on localising its machines in a bid to be more-cost competitive. Though the localisation levels vary from machine to machine, it has local content to the extent of about 80 per cent in some construction equipment.

Citing an example of cost reduction over the years, V. G. Sakthi Kumar, Managing Director, SSI, pointed out that its truck mixer used to cost Rs.10 lakh a decade ago, but now it costs Rs.8.5 lakh with more features and value addition benefits.

With cost reduction as a priority at a time of slump in the market place, it has now embraced solar power to achieve some savings on the power front. The company has been depending on diesel gensets for meeting about 40 per cent of its consumption.

With the new Rs.65-lakh solar plant, the Rs.850-crore company hopes to meet about 12 per cent of its consumption at a lower cost. It is also contemplating ramping up the solar capacity to about 600 kwp to save further on power costs.