Companies

Sterling & Wilson books global orders of 1 GW after March, order book swells to over ₹14,000 cr

M Ramesh Chennai | Updated on July 06, 2020 Published on July 05, 2020

Bikesh Ogra

Solar power plant builder, Sterling & Wilson Solar, which has globally booked orders for 1 GW of capacity after March, says the solar power industry is getting back to normal.

The Shapoorji Pollonji group company, which has been building more solar plants outside India than within the country, is now sitting on an order book of ₹14,300 crore, compared with ₹7,740 crore as of end-March 2019. The orders it won after March included 380 MW in India.

While things are yet to pick up momentum in India, Sterling & Wilson sees normalcy returning faster in other parts of the world. Projects in some countries like Australia and Chile were never much affected; many projects in countries in West Asia and Africa were stalled due to supply disruption from China but the situation is back to normal there, Bikesh Ogra, Director and Global CEO of the company, told BusinessLine.

In 2019-20 — its first year of operations after its IPO in August 2019 — Sterling & Wilson Solar achieved a turnover of ₹5,575 crore and net profit of ₹304 crore, compared with ₹8,240 crore and ₹638 crore in 2018-19. Only 27 per cent of its revenues came from India (30 per cent in the previous year.) The company said that the lower turnover was due to delay in the commencement of a large project, coupled with higher revenue in the previous year from a large project in the MENA region. The Covid-19 pandemic also affected revenues.

Ogra said the company expects to fare much better this year on the back of a healthy order book, as well as increase in profits from ‘operations and maintenance’.

Data is the gold mine

Sterling & Wilson Solar has 7.8 GW of solar plants under its maintenance, nearly half of which were not built by it.

In today’s times when solar energy companies are increasingly relying on data science for improving plant performance, the data generated by 7.8 GW of plants is a big intellectual property, Ogra said. Analysis of the data is often very revealing.

In 2019-20, O&M contributed only 3.3 per cent to total revenues, double the previous year’s figure, but in this business the “margins are very healthy.”

Meanwhile, Sterling & Wilson Solar has started training migrant labourers for work at solar plant sites.

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Published on July 05, 2020
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