Wind turbine-maker Gamesa setting up a new plant in Andhra

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Chennai, May 10 (IANS) Spanish wind turbine-maker Gamesa is expanding its production capacity in India by setting up a new integrated facility in Andhra Pradesh, a top official of the company’s Indian subsidiary said on Tuesday.

The new plant is part of the group’s 100 million euros (Rs.800 crore) investment plan that includes outlays for setting up sub-stations and other facilities.

“We see good potential for wind power in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh. The new plant would cater to the needs of these markets,” Gamesa Renewable Private Ltd chairman and managing director Ramesh Kymal told reporters here.

He said the plant is coming up in the IFFCO Kissan Special Economic Zone at Nellore in Andhra Pradesh. It will first manufacture blades for 2 MW wind mills and later the nacelles, generators and other component assemblies.

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The plant is expected to start commercial production on August 15 this year, Kymal said.

On the choice of location, he said the 24-hour power supply, ease of doing business, supportive bureaucracy and political leadership, and proximity to markets are the reasons for choosing Andhra Pradesh.

He said there is potential for growth for wind power in states like Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

Kymal said that with new-generation machines, power could be generated even in areas where wind speed is relatively low.

He said the company retained its leadership position in India by installing wind turbines with a total capacity of 1,003 MW.

Cumulatively Gamesa has installed 3,000 MW of wind power in India and Sri Lanka (45 MW).

In the last fiscal the company had installed wind mills with a total capacity of 1,003 MW and the plant load factor (PLF) of each machine is around 30 percent, Kymal said.

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Speaking about re-powering or installing new machines in place of low-capacity older machines, he said policies need to be changed so that a new power purchase agreement is signed for supply of power at the revised rate.

“In Tamil Nadu alone 3,000 MW to 5,000 MW capacity can be added by re-powering/replacing the old machines,” Kymal said.

According to Kymal, the company’s order book position for wind turbines is 750 MW and for solar power projects, it is 150 MW.

Last year, a total of around 3,400 MW of wind power was added and in the current fiscal the capacity addition is expected to be between 4,000-4,500 MW, said executive vice-president (sales and marketing) D.G. Kamath.

He said Gamesa will retain its 29 percent market share this year.

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On the solar power projects, Kymal said the company does not have land bank but has the approvals to set up projects totalling 10,000 MW.

“We don’t want to bid in the solar power sector. The market will witness a shakeout as the tariff rates are not economical. Already we are seeing exits from the sector by some players. We will get into bidding for solar power projects at an appropriate time,” he said.

Queried about his stance on competitive bidding for wind power projects, as in the case of solar power instead of feed-in tariff, Kymal told IANS: “We are not against competitive bidding. But there are certain conditions that have to be completed by wind speed studies.”



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