Conversation with Mr. MAURO SPIZZO, Managing Director, Sapa Extrusion India Private Limited
rusion India Private Limited is a 100% subsidiary of Hydro Norsk AS. From cruise ships to LED lights, windows, air conditioners and hundreds of products in between, Hydro experts help design, extrude and manufacture the parts that shape our world. We are the world leaders in aluminium solutions, with 35,000 employees in more than 40 countries and headquartered at Oslo, Norway. Sapa started in India with a fabrication unit in Bengaluru in 2010, post which the group acquired the current unit in Kuppam through a brownfield acquisition in 2011.
Since the inception in India, we have focused on supplying value-added solutions to our customers rather than just general extrusions. This comes from the fact that apart of from two top of the line extrusion press (annual capacity of 20,000 tons), we also have a surface treatment line with anodizing, painting and powder coating facilities and an extensive fabrication unit (now in Kuppam) with welding, bending and CNC machining operations. We have been catering to different segments in India like Building & Construction, Automotive, Renewable Energy apart from different industrial applications. We also provide solutions in round tubes & multiform tubes for automotive and HVAC applications.
- Tell us more about your venture in supplying Rooftop Solar Structures?
Sapa signed an agreement with Mounting Systems Gmbh, (based out of Rangsdorf in Germany) in January 2015 to manufacture and distribute their products in the Indian Sub-continent. Since then, we have duly serviced 250 MW of rooftop solar projects across India, Asia and Africa. Our patented Click and Clamp technology provides a unique offering to the market, giving flexibility to the developers during installations on various metal as well as RCC roofs.
- Solar project should be designed for a life of 25 years. What quality parameters should mounting structures adhere to sustain over this period?
Structures are the first step of any solar installation and most often they are considered at last while budgeting an installation, causing a ruckus during execution. The quality of any product starts with the quality of the raw material – in our case being Aluminium. We use 100 % homogenized virgin raw materials, imported from our sister concern in Qatar, thereby ensuring uniform chemical and mechanical properties after extrusion as well. Looking at project life of more than 25 years, it is also prudent to use the correct system for a particular roof or location as well as understanding the necessity of anodizing the structures.
- Along with utility scale, there has been a growth in rooftop solar segment as well. Where do you see the next growth phase coming from?
We have seen a tremendous growth in rooftop solar segment from the past 3 years, with minor hiccups last year due to GST implementation and scarcity of modules due to possible safeguard duties. Considering the steep target of 40 GW to be achieved by 2022, we see rooftop solar segment being the dominant part of the entire solar segment. We see tremendous potential in the residential rooftop segment through retail which is virtually an untouched market as of now. Currently, this segment has only been effective in states like Delhi NCR, Haryana and Tamil Nadu with mandates being implemented by the state government. Residential rooftop segment has led the growth of rooftop solar in countries like Germany and United States and is still dominant over commercial and industrial rooftop segments. We also expect growth in solar plants on floating water-bodies, although tenders and technical understanding is minimal as of now.
- Tell us a bit about the recent technology and cost trends in the solar structure engineering sector
We recently launched a new product for metal sheds “T75 Rail” which provides a clearance of 75 mm (Excluding trough height) for the heat dissipation and also reduces the weight of the structure on the roof. The current trend in the market as seen is to reduce BoS as much as possible to reduce the costs as module prices remain stagnant. One way is by using higher class of modules like 340-350 Wp, the other way is by compromising on the actual requirement of the BoS. Expecting the market situation to be the same or worsen, engineering is currently focused on reducing the weight of the structures without compromising on the factors like strength and longevity. With fluctuating metal prices, there is little that even structure manufacturers can do beyond a point.