Gamesa upbeat on India, lines up major expansion

N. Ramakrishnan Chennai | Updated on March 08, 2011

Mr Jorge Calvet

Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa is expanding its presence in India by putting up three more facilities that will make various parts for the wind turbines. It has an assembly plant at Red Hills, a northern suburb of Chennai.

The company will invest about Rs 500 crore in units that will make blades, towers and nacelles (the cone like structure on the top that covers all the critical parts of the wind turbine).

The units to make blades and towers will come up near Vadodara in Gujarat, and the one that will make nacelles near Chennai. Apart from the investment in these plants, Gamesa will also invest in building a land bank for wind energy projects. The blade factory and the unit that will fabricate the towers, which will be through a joint venture, will be ready by September and the nacelle unit by the first quarter of 2012.

India business

This expansion along with an ambitious ramp up plan comes on the back of Gamesa's Indian operations exceeding the parent company's expectations. “I am more than fully satisfied with how Gamesa is developing in India. We have been in operation for a little over a year and it has exceeded our expectations,” Mr Jorge Calvet, Chairman and CEO, Gamesa, told Business Line here today.

In 2010, Gamesa installed about 140 MW – it sells 850 kW turbines – and hopes to sell more than three times that number, about 500 MW, in 2011. Gamesa, according to Mr Calvet, will launch the 2 MW turbine in India. The prototype will be ready later this year and the commercial launch will happen by next March, according to Mr Ramesh Kymal, Chairman and Managing Director of the Indian subsidiary, Gamesa Wind Turbines Pvt Ltd.

Opens R&D centre

Gamesa India, which has invested about Rs 300 crore on its Red Hills plant, has opened a research and development centre on Chennai's IT corridor. It hopes to employ about 100 engineers by the year-end. “It will be integrated with what we are doing worldwide. A lot of work being done in Spain will be passed on to the R&D centre here,” says Mr Kymal.

With the planned expansion and the R&D centre, Gamesa's employees will almost double to 1,000 by the end of this year, according to Mr Calvet.

Not interested In buying Suzlon

Asked about media reports that Gamesa is interested in buying Suzlon Energy, a leading wind turbine manufacturer, Mr Calvet answered in the negative. “No,” he said when asked if Gamesa had submitted a bid for Suzlon. “And if I had done that, you would have known as I am obliged by Spanish law to make a public announcement.”

His answer was a firm “no” when asked if there were any discussions on the topic. Did Suzlon approach the company? “No. I have seen Mr Tanti (Mr Tulsi Tanti, Chairman and Managing Director, Suzlon Energy Ltd) at conferences, but no,” replied Mr Calvet.

Published on March 08, 2011

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