Finland-based power equipment maker Wartsila Corporation, a global leader in small- to medium-size, furnace oil- and gas-based power plants, is exploring big business growth in India.
Wartsila is set to acquire a domestic service provider for the power sector and is in advanced negotiations with power utilities and gas suppliers to form strategic alliances or joint ventures. The ventures are planned for power production, technology, engineering, procurement and construction of power plants and for their operation and maintanence, said Christoph Vitzthum, group vice-president, Wartsila. "India is a major hub for our global operations and considering the growth potential India has in the power and shipbuilding businesses, we will invest substantially in this country," he said.
Christoph, who came to India to inaugurate the new auxilliary manufacturing unit of Wartsila in Khopoli, Maharashtra, said the corporation has already invested about 7-10 million euros in India for production facilities. The new unit, along with the existing unit in Khapoli, will cater to global auxilliary requirements of the company.
Auxilliary units and modules are peripheral accessories to diesel power plants and these process the oil, fuel and water that enter the diesel engines. Rakesh Sarin, the MD of Wartsila India, said the company was in the process of sensitising policymakers and power sector players in the country on advantages of mini-power plants offered by Wartsila, which results in efficiency and reduction in transmission losses due to nearness to load centres, especially during peak load hours. Further, such power plants can come up in quick time compared with large thermal power plants that require years to take off.
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"We are looking at development of power plants in a cluster form (such as 10 X 300 mw at a single location) near gas pipelines and are talking to many players," he said. The Rs 280-crore Wartsila India, which delisted from stock exchanges last year, has so far installed over 3,200 mw in different parts of India.
Wartsila said it is also looking at the shipping segment in India as a major growth driver for the company,mainly in industrial customers' projects. Operation and maintanence of power plants are another major revenue earner for the company, which operates and manages over 55 power plant sites covering about 148 engines and three steam turbines generating a total of 813 mw.
Christoph Vitzthum said Wartsila, one of the global leaders for marine engines and accessories, is also looking at the shipping segment in India as a major growth driver for the company. "India currently accounts for just 1 per cent of the global shipping industry and this is poised to grow to 8-9 per cent by 2015, displacing major players in Europe and Japan. We expect Wartsila India to contribute a double-digit share of revenues to our global turnover by that time," he said.