New Delhi: Alstom T&D India, subsidiary of France-based Alstom, is eyeing more revenues from domestic power sector by targeting upcoming grid projects and will expand its transformer factory in Baroda next year to meet the demand, a senior company official said.
"We are investing in India next year, we are expanding our transformer factory in Baroda but we are not disclosing the amount. Certainly it would be among the highest investments we will be making in individual markets," Alstom Grid President Gregoire Poux-Guillaume said.
Alstom's Baroda unit currently provides various services, including hydro manufacturing and assembly unit, high speed balancing of all rotating equipments and is a global technology centre of the company.
He added that expansion is required in order to execute a recent contract from Power Grid Corporation, worth about Rs 2,800 crore and meeting the demand of growing High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) transmission lines in the country.
The Power Grid order, won by Alstom T&D last month, is a turnkey contract for setting up converter stations at Champa in Chhattisgarh and Kurukshetra in Haryana using ultra HVDC technology. The HVDC lines are used for transporting power for 800 km or more distances and carries lower transmission losses.
Besides, the company is also looking to bid for "at least one HVDC project per year, if the fog lifts," Guillaume said while pointing out that pace of investments in the power sector has slowed down due to policy logjams and recent controversies like on coal block allocations.
"Are we frustrated? Yes, we are, probably as much as most people... The regulatory environment is somewhat uncertain currently and that is impacting visibility on businesses, including our business.
"We are looking forward to the resolution of things like coal or like reforms in state electricity boards and certainly clarity on these issues would be great for everybody and for India's (GDP) growth," he said.
Stating that Alstom is not a "fair weather animal", Guillaume said that India is "our biggest country are per our sales. We are investing in India despite the uncertainty and we are doing it with 20 year outlook."
He, however, said that "the longer the situation (stalled reforms) lingers, the more likely people will defer investments, including us."
Talking about the two massive electricity outages that happened in July, Guillaume said it should be used as a catalyst to reform Indian power sector, including state electricity boards.
The Indian subsidiary contributes about 15 percent (or about Rs 4,000 crore) of Alstom's total sales revenues from grid business at about 4 billion Euros. Currently it has an order-book of over Rs 6,000 crore and is leading player in power transmission equipments.
First Published: Sunday, September 16, 2012, 16:08