Our end-to-end turnkey solutions business has grown up by 150-200 per cent since last year on the order acquisition side. On the conductors side, we have seen a huge surge in demand for high-performance conductors in India and globally.
CEO – Solutions Business, Sterlite Power
What kind of new technologies we can see from Sterlite Power’s solutions business?
In the solutions business, Sterlite Power is one of the largest manufacturers of high-performance conductors, optical ground wire, underground high-voltage power cables. We are also into master system integration, where the company is a turnkey player in offering end-to-end solutions for upgrading networks and EHV underground cables. In its end-to-end solutions offering, the company has introduced the latest robotics for live line stringing. We have also come up with digital platform for power system, where the customers can map the congested lines of transmission in the state and go to the utility line and address it. FIPC(fibre integrated power cable) is another area where we are developing innovative products and creating positive social impact by furthering alloy conductor product, which is suitable for coastal environment.
What are the core areas of operations Sterlite Power is focussing on?
Sterlite Power is moving towards providing end-to-end solutions and priority for us is on high-performance conductors which is used in upgrading and setting up newer networks. For example, Bangladesh is building 400 KV transmission line. Here, we are supplying ACCC high-performance conductors through our partners GS Korea. Valued at Rs 300 crore, it is one of the largest global orders for the company till date for its conductors business. On OPGW, the company has launched cables for 33 KV poles with a focus of reaching out to the customer with innovative solutions. We also have presence in robotics technology for strengthening OPGW on live lines. These are some of the solutions offering for end-to-end customers with technology in focus.
Countries like Bangladesh and Nepal are opting for smart solutions for power transmission. What holds India in opting for such solutions?
Five years ago, when the company offered high-performance conductors for uprating and upgrading existing as well new transmission lines, the utilities were reluctant to try new technologies due to the cost factor. Moreover, the lack of specialised skilled workforce to operate thenew technologies was not available within the industry. But today, India has come a long way. Many states have gone way ahead in uprate and upgrades. However, on many new lines, there is still a need to upgrade from the technology innovations adopted in the neighbouring countries and act accordingly. Things are changing but at a slower pace. At policy level, there is a need for a policy for lost capitalisation as AT&C loss is one of the huge problems in the industry. There is also a need for a policy in place to check on existing conductors’ health that have been ageing for quite a long time and replacement should happen as and when required. Thereby, a policy for uprating and upgrading of existing and new lines need to be formulated. Initiatives and proactiveness from the utilities are required for adoption of new products and technologies.
With government’s ambitious ‘100 Smart Cities’ project, power will be the backbone for its fulfilment. How will smart solutions play an important role in this context?
A lot has been happening on the Smart City area and is visible on-ground as well. We have started collaborating with customers on end-to-end solutions on underground EHP as our offering for smart cities. We are gearing up to offer more innovative power solutions for the ambitious infrastructure plans.
Where does the company’s order book stand? What does the future look like?
Our end-to-end turnkey solutions business has grown up by 150-200 per cent since last year on the order acquisition side. On the conductors side, we have seen a huge surge in demand for high-performance conductors in India and globally. Compared to last year, we have witnessed growth of 100 per cent in underground power cables division. All the orders will be completed in FY 18-19. In terms of revenue, we look forward to growth of around Rs 4,000 crore. We will start looking to exporting solutions overseas as only products were till date. There are no plans of solution-based project acquisition this year. On the product side, we expect 25-30 per cent of production.