Companies

Shriram cooling tower JV makes foray into new areas

T. Shivaraman, MD and CEO, Shriram EPC Ltd. File photo  

Hamon Shriram Cottrell Pvt. Ltd. (HSCL), a joint venture between Shriram EPC Ltd. and Hamon Group of Belgium, has quietly diversified into newer areas to emerge a significant force to reckon with in the cooling tower business.

The company has just signalled its foray into natural draft cooling tower segment by partnering Lanco Infratech, which has won a BOP (balance of plant) order from Maharashtra State Power Generation Company Ltd to set up 3X660 MW thermal power project at Koradi in Maharastra.

This is the first time that HSCL is venturing into natural draft cooling tower space.

The company has all along been only in normal mechanical cooling tower segment, catering mainly to the power sector and also to the refineries.

T. Shivaraman, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Shriram EPC, said HSCL had gone in for a project-specific technology agreement with a German company for the construction of the natural draft cooling tower for the Koradi power project.

Though HSCL had expertise in structural design, engineering, maintenance and management of mechanical cooling towers, it lacked expertise in civil construction. The technical tie-up with this German company, Mr. Shivaraman said, would help HSCL offer an integrated package. He saw in Koradi project an opportunity for HSCL to add civil construction component to its offerings. This exploratory maiden project, he felt, would help the company showcase its prowess in providing an all-encompassing natural draft cooling tower solution to power generation companies.

He felt that natural draft cooling towers (which are very tall) could go a long way in paring operational costs of projects which required the cooling of massive volume water. In this context, he pointed out that nuclear power plants could ideally opt for natural draft cooling towers.

HSCL, he said, would also diversify into air-cooling condensers, mainly for power plants. "Where water is scarce, air-cooling condensers could replace cooling towers," Mr. Shivaraman pointed out. The join venture partner Hamon had technology, according to Suryanarayanan, Director and CEO of HSCL. The company, Mr. Suryanarayanan said, had just begun bidding for air-cooling condensers.

According to them, the cooling tower business held huge potential. The reckoned that cooling tower component worked out to three to four per cent of the total cost of a power plant. HSCL, they claimed, had an impressive client list which included Adani, Lanco, Reliance, Sterlit, Cochin Refineries, Chennai Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum, Alstom and Siemens, among others.

From wood to concrete and now to fibreglass structures, Mr. Shivaraman said the cooling towers had undergone a metamorphosis across the globe. Due to a combination of factors, however, the shift towards fibreglass cooling towers was happening slowly in India. About 60-70 per cent of the towers in India were still concrete ones, he pointed out.

The joint venture company, they said, was hoping to scale a turnover of Rs.500 crore in the next two to three years from the current Rs.158 crore. "We will be an India-focussed company and like to emerge a leader in this region," Mr. Shivaraman added. He claimed that the company had around 10 per cent market share in the cooling tower business. "We will like to take this up to 20 per cent in the next three years," he added.


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Printable version | Jan 18, 2022 11:17:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/companies/shriram-cooling-tower-jv-makes-foray-into-new-areas/article2230496.ece

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