'India power sector gaining ground in South Africa'

'India power sector gaining ground in South Africa' Johannesburg: The Indian power sector is gaining ground in South Africa, where it hoping to secure at least five percent of global exports currently dominated by European exporters by 2020, said Sanjeev Sardana.

Sardana, chairman of Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers' Association, led a delegation to the two-day 15th Power & Electricity World Africa 2013 expo that ended here on Wednesday.

Indian companies were out in force at as they try to boost the annual USD 2.5 billion exports to the African continent.

Expoconsult India and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with the support of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry arranged the Indian Pavilion at the expo.

As many as 39 Indian companies participated in the areas of electrical equipment, power generation, transmission lines and parts and renewable energy.

Sardana said of the USD 4.5 billion exported from the power sector by India each year, USD 2.5 billion was to Africa.

"There is great interest from our members to come to Africa not only to sell their products but also to find technology partners where they can talk about doing technology transfer," Sardana added.

"Africa spends about USD 93 billion a year on power sector reform, about 50 percent of this in transmission and distribution, which is what we are all primarily here for.

"The market in South Africa has been dominated by European players, but now Indian companies are also getting a foothold because a lot of our members have gained approval from the South African Bureau of Standards with certification to international standards."

Sardana said his organisation was confident of success in South Africa, setting a target of achieving at least five percent of the global share by 2020.

"This was an ideal platform to meet all of Africa's power operators, government, power producers and all energy stakeholders together under one roof," Sardana said.

Lauding the participants for the quality of their products as he inaugurated the India Pavilion, High Commissioner Virendra Gupta said representation from renewable energy section of the expo could have been higher.

"There is a huge priority in South Africa for renewable energy and Suzlon and Tata are already working here. There is a lot of opportunity for projects at the government and the private sector level."

Gupta said opportunities would also open up for the power generation sector, as it was felt national supplier Eskom would not be able to meet all capacity demands of the growing South African economy.

"If Eskom cannot handle it, they will have to get into the independent power generation arena, which has not happened so far," he said.

Indian delegates participated in more than 50 seminars and conferences dedicated to such areas as Clean Technology, Power Generation, and Bio Energy.

Among them was Sanjoy Kumar Chakraborti Executive Director - Generation from Calcutta Electricity Supply Corporation -- who delivered a paper on ways to enhance operational efficiency and ensure stability.

Anish Garg, Joint Director - Performance Standards and Engineering at the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission-- spoke on ways to bring Independent Power Producers into the main grid.

PTI