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Thursday, Nov 18, 2004

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Vestas RRB to set up plants to make wind turbine blades

Our Bureau

Mr Rakesh Bakshi

Chennai , Nov. 17

VESTAS RRB India Ltd, which manufactures wind electric generators, plans to set up plants in Tamil Nadu to manufacture blades and controllers at a total investment of Rs 35 crore.

According to Mr Rakesh Bakshi, Managing Director, these components are now being imported from Vestas Wind Systems of Denmark, which has 49 per cent equity stake in Vestas RRB.

The plant to manufacture the blades will come up at Poonamallee, on the outskirts of Chennai at an investment of Rs 30 crore.

The unit to produce controllers will come up at Virugambakkam, a Chennai suburb, where Vestas RRB produces its wind turbines.

Producing the blades and controllers locally is expected to substantially bring down the prices of Vestas RRB's wind turbines. "With this, our turbines should be competitive when compared to conventional thermal power," Mr Bakshi said.

According to Mr Sarvesh Kumar, COO, the import content in the wind turbines will come down from 35 per cent now to about 13 per cent once local manufacture of the blades and controllers begins.

The decision to manufacture the two components here was prompted by the growth that the company was witnessing because of which local manufacture was more economical than import, Mr Bakshi said.

Vestas RRB expects to end 2004-05 with a turnover of Rs 600 crore, up from Rs 260 crore last year. Next year, it is targeting a turnover of Rs 1,000 crore. Mr Sarvesh Kumar said that profits were in the range of 4-8 per cent of turnover every year.

On the global acquisition and subsequent merger of NEG Micon with Vestas and its impact on Vestas RRB, Mr Bakshi said that the two companies had been working together for almost 16 years and did not see any impact on Vestas RRB. (NEG Micon has an Indian subsidiary.)

In any case, he said, the technology to manufacture the wind turbines was Vestas RRB's.

(This means that even if Vestas decided to exit its joint venture with RRB Consultants and Engineers Pvt Ltd, which holds 51 per cent in the company, the Indian company could still produce the turbines.)

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