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Interaction | January 2013

The company has a total installed capacity of around 150 MW

We have about 200 MW projects in the pipe line and working on around 45 MW project in Maharashtra with the largest turbine in India, avers Hiren Shah, CEO, Global Wind Power in an interaction with Eliza Waghmare....  

India is the third largest wind energy market in the world. How well equipped is GWP when it comes to tapping into emerging opportunities?
 We have seen the shift in the Indian market since the appreciation from customers to IPP (Independent Power Producer). IPPs evaluation is a little different. They work towards acquiring quality products and focus on various operations as a criterion. Global Wind Power (GWP) has tied up with a strategic investor from China that will enter India in order to bring in their technology, which will then be able to address the requirements for an excellent quality product. But at the same time, this agreement should be able to meet the internal rate of return requirements of our independent power producers.


Do you think that there is a lesser inclination by the Indian government especially with regard to approving conventional energy projectsrather than non-conventional?
 I disagree with the contention that the government is not doing nearly enough. As a matter of fact, India has the best policies in terms of government support for energy sector. Our country has the renewable purchase obligation; the renewable energy certification; and a very good tariff structure in place. In a state like Maharashtra, where the tariff is Rs 5.67 paisa, there is a possibility that a generation based incentive shall be reinstated within two or three months.


The ministries in general have depicted a strong drive and capability. They have ministers that are actually proactive and champion causes that deserve merit. Considering these factors I do not think that government is not doing nearly enough. However there is certainly room for improvement.


When compared to other wind turbines in the Indian market, what advantages do GWP turbines provide to its customers?
 When we consider advantages, one thing that no Indian turbine manufacturer does today is that financing. Since we do provide financing it is one of our strongest selling points in the Indian market. We not only provide a turnkey model and other pre-requisites but also go one step further and provide financing for our customers from the China Development Bank, China Exim Bank. This makes what we offer as being a very compelling proposition


What is your total installed capacity so far? Brief us about the company's upcoming projects?
 The company has a total installed capacity of about 150 mega watts (MW).We have projects that would amount to 200 MW in the pipeline. Currently, we are working on a 45 MW project in Maharashtra with the largest turbine in India. It's a 2.5 MW machine. Apart from India, do you have any wind power projects in abroad? Please elaborate? We have erected one project, one turbine in Scotland and this turbine is running very well. GWP have also recently erected a turbine in US, which is running fine.


What challenges do you face while working on various projects? How do you try to overcome them?
 There is a persistent challenge in every stage right from the availability of the land; the substation; the assembling of the machines; the logistics; project erection; etc. If any of these duties aren't executed effectively, the project doesn't turn out to be successful. We have challenges across every sector. So, in all, the major challenge is to circumvent these obstacles so that the project isn't delayed.


What are your expectations from the upcoming budget for the wind energy sector? Is there a dramatic increase in market competition, with other companies entering the wind energy market in India?
 With regard to the budget, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has made already put forth the necessary recommendations one various policies.


One of the key policies is the Generation Based Incentive (GBI). The ministry has proposed that all Independent Power Producers (IPP) will get an extra 50 to 80 paisa per unit of energy generated.


It's a very good proposal, but the MNRE doesn't have the money to make this available to all the power producers. So, the money has to come from some other ministry like the Finance Ministry or the Power Ministry, etc. Somebody has to figure out how to budget for these incentives that are already proposed by the MNRE. So my hope is that, this money which is allocated or accounted for, can be made available to the independent power producers. It helps them improve the rate of return.


Could you take us through the company's vision and future plans for the next five years?
 We expect to be a dominant player. In fact, GWP is among the few companies that will, or one of the only companies today that is able to afford a turnkey project along with financing. We have already initiated the installation of a specific number of projects in India. But many are yet to be implemented since most of the projects don't have the necessary financing in place. And even if the finance is in place, in India the cost of financing is also an expensive proposition. With regard to the interest rates for wind turbine, one has to pay at least 12to 13 per cent. Whereas, GWP are financing at much lower interest rates. Thus, this provides customers with a means to accelerate their wind projects since through us the cost of financing is drastically reduced. Hence we are very optimistic and bullish about future since as organisations have something that nobody else can offer. But more importantly, we have something that the independent power producers have been looking for a long time because they spend a lot of time evaluating the right vendor, who to buy the wind turbines from and then they spend a lot of time arranging the finance for it. In fact we are having a very ambitious project for the next three years. So we want to be one of the top three players in the country.


According to you how was the year 2012 in terms of economic growth, reforms, policy formation etc as well as what are your expectations from the year 2013? Do you expect it to be largely positive?
  The year 2012 was a very slow year for the company, not due to lack of policy and reforms, or economic growth, etc. It was mostly because we were working on getting the right product in the market. We are extremely optimistic about the year 2013. And we expect this year to be extremely positive.


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