In Conversation with Mr. Syed Abbas , BU Head - Renewable Energy, TMEIC
Let’s start with your company’s presence in India.
In 2003 TMEIC started in India as a back-end engineering and development support office for our HQ in Japan and US. Two years later we started commercial operations on our own. First foothold in India came in the form of award for the largest hot strip mill project in 2007, which was eventually commissioned in 2010. That was when TMEIC became a brand in India and started full scale operations. Thereafter, many successes followed and currently TMEIC holds a strong market position in the country.
With the acquisition of AEG assembly unit in Bangalore in 2014, TMEIC started the manufacturing of utility scale central Inverters for Solar applications. TMEIC now has 5 Sales offices, 12 Service Centres, 450 staff. Our facility at Tumkur is 26,000 sq mtrs of shop floor space, with clean energy from our own roof-top solar power, the plant is carbon and water neutral (zero emission and zero discharge resp), natural light saving 1240Kwh/day - a 100% self-sustainable green building. Our Inverters are manufactured with totally green power, pity we cannot colour them so! Talk about walking the talk on green energy!
What are the different products and services you offer in the Indian market?
TMEIC’s strength is in the reliability of our products and the people behind in service of our clients. This comes as no surprise because of our parentage, both Toshiba and Mitsubishi Electric are established market leaders in client satisfaction and so bankability comes naturally to us. It’s in our DNA.
We meet the market needs via our Utility scale central indoor inverters ranging from 500-kW to 2.5MW Single Block assisted natural cooled. The Inverters could be mounted inside civil rooms or inside plug-and-play compact containerised stations of 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10-MWs. In the past three years TMEIC has shipped 2.7-GW of Inverters only in India, out of which 1.7-MW in the form of containerised stations.
Being a leading manufacturer in the global PV inverter industry what makes your product offering different from others?
It’s our commitment to Quality. In terms of resources, TMEIC invests heavily on quality. This commitment is renewed every day on the shop floor and is the backbone of TMEIC’s bankability. We are conscious of the reliability of performance and consistently work towards delivering higher value, so that the return on investment for our clients is better than what goes on paper. Out of the installed base of over 2-GW, we are running an uptime of 99.7% and are consistently pushing this figure even higher. Our clients recognise this and reward us repeatedly by investing their confidence in TMEIC.
A brief on your growth in the past year and some milestones you wish to achieve this year.
Globally, TMEIC has crossed shipments of 14-GW and in India the figure is 2.7-GW. We have been rated the fastest growing Inverter manufacturer in India and currently rank among the top 3 in the country. We are hoping to cross the 3-GW mark this FY.
What have been the latest trends in demand for Solar Inverter market in India? Where do you see the next demand growth coming from?
Storage is the buzzword these days, but I think this will take some time before it catches momentum in India. First, we need to inject better economic health in the renewable energy projects. With the current tariffs rates from e-auctions developers are finding it more and more difficult to meet investor expectations. It is difficult to sustain positive sentiment behind investment coming into renewables in India. The level of tariffs we saw last year and continue to see this year can only accelerate consolidation in the market, which is not always a good idea. We hope better sense prevails and price pressures ease off a bit and give some breathing space for sustainable growth to the industry. This is essential for the environment.