Alstom T&D India is eying a big slice of the R14,500-crore worth of tenders being floated by Power Grid Corporation in the 12th plan for strengthening its grid, which collapsed in July resulting in blackout in several parts of India. In conversation with Subhash Narayan, company managing director Rathin Basu says the company is better prepared to face the current market conditions armed with a strong order book of over R6,000 crore. Edited excerpts:
How has been the global scenario for transmission firms, especially for Alstom Grid?
Globally, Alstom Grid has been making continuous progress in terms of technology and improving business in different geographies. With sales of around 4 billion euros, Alstom grid is among the top-3 global players with a 10% market share. We have made significant gains in some of the leading technologies, particularly towards the super grid domain where one of the latest wins was the DolWin 3 project to supply a grid connection to the DolWin offshore wind farm in the North Sea followed by another large win in India for a 800 kV/3,000 MW HVDC bipole and several others in different regions of the world.
How has been the performance of Alstom T&D India, keeping in mind the slowdown both in terms of economy and sector movement?
Thanks to our early decision on increasing our local manufacturing capabilities during 2007-2009 in India, we were relatively better equipped to face the negative storm that the industry faced 2011 onwards. Last year, our turnover was R3,100 plus crore. We continue to lead the market in India, for the fifth year in a row. With a strong order book of R6,000 plus crore, almost 20 to 22 months of backlog, we are relatively better prepared to face the current uncertain market conditions. Interestingly, India has been the largest contributor to Alstom Grid orders in 2012-13, around 15% of global orders.
What do you think of the India growth story and T&D market it would unravel?
India’s economic growth was quite strong until around 2010, with a GDP growth rate of above 8%. The electricity sector, including the power and T&D, played a strong role in enabling this growth. The equipment manufacturers increased their capacities; local manufacturing capabilities were developed for UMPPs, while in T&D sector manufacturing capabilities were developed up to 765kV EHV. Unfortunately post 2011, India witnessed a drastic slowdown with issues like fuel supply, land availability, environmental