In Conversation with Mr. V.S.Mohan, PMP Country Manager, Alfanar Construction
Lets begin with a glimpse of your company’s presence/foray in India’s RE sector?
Alfanar Company, headquartered at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, started its operations in 1976 as an EPC Contractor and 1989 as a Manufacturer of electrical products and has now grown itself into leading player in Energy sector with around USD 2.2 Billion turnover. Alfanar’s core business line includes (i) construction of Solar & wind power projects, Conventional Power Plants, substation Projects, & transmission line and (ii) manufacturing of electrical equipments, design & development centers and a number of facilities in the Middle East, Asia and Europe.
As a regional market leader in power generation and transmission, Alfanar Construction has currently more than 37 on-going mega infrastructure projects exceeding USD 2.1 billion in 2017. This is in addition to a further 200 accomplished projects in different sectors in the last four decades, regionally and well-placed in GCC, majorly covering in UAE, Bahrain and Qatar. Adhering to the international standards with the full commitment to quality and safety rules, Alfanar Construction has acquired client trust and is a reputed brand in power industry. We serve equally to government and private clients.
In India last year Alfanar emerged as a winner in SECI-III and SECI-V ISTS Wind project tendering process and secured two projects each of 300 MW capacities in Gujarat.
Alfanar has diversified into the business of Renewable Energy with ambitious mandate to develop 3 GWs in next 5 years in MENA, Europe and Asia. With ongoing projects of over 1.7 GW of RE Projects in Egypt, India and Spain which are at different stages of development, financial closure and construction. We are already executing 50 MW of Solar Plant as a Main EPC contractor in Egypt and also executing BOP works for 2X300 MW of wind projects in Bhuj, Gujarat.
Where do you see the Solar Energy industry in India poised for the next 10 years?
India poised for huge growth in solar energy for the next 10 years. With growth at same pace we will be touching the mark closer to 500 GW which is will be round double the present target of Indian government to reach 225 GW by 2022.
The Indian renewable energy sector is the fourth most attractive renewable energy market in the world. As of October 2018, India ranked 5th in installed renewable energy capacity. Installed renewable power generation capacity has increased at a fast pace over the past few years, posting a CAGR of 19.78 per cent between FY14–18. The focus of Government of India has shifted to clean energy after it ratified the Paris Agreement. With the increased support of government and improved economics, the sector has become attractive from investors perspective. As India looks to meet its energy demand on its own, which is expected to reach 15,820 TWh by 2040, renewable energy is set to play an important role.
What do you think about India’s Solar Policies on a holistic perspective and what according to you are the current bottlenecks which may impede growth for this sector.?
The Policy space is even with boost and bumps for the Solar sector. Some initiatives by the Government of India boosting the Indian renewable energy sector are as follows:
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has decided to provide custom and excise duty benefits to the solar rooftop sector, which in turn will lower the cost of setting up as well as generate power, thus boosting growth.
The Indian Railways is taking increased efforts through sustained energy efficient measures and maximum use of clean fuel to cut down emission level by 33 percent by 2030.
My individualistic throw on the bottlenecks would be;
Lack of infrastructure: Solar power project development in solar parks is being hampered by delays relating to infrastructure and site preparation issues. The government’s rush to auction projects in these parks ahead of completing land acquisition formalities has led to project developers winning bids but not ready to start construction due to lack of infrastructure.
Proper measures for Grid Integration and Forecasting to have a seamless transition from Conventional to renewables is greatly missing from the India power scenario. We are yet to achieve maturity in that area to be at par with countries like Germany, Belgium, France etc.
What are your growth plans for the Indian market and do you feel India would be your most favoured destination for RE investments?
We want to set up 2000 MW by 2021. “Half of it will be in wind energy, and the other half in solar.”
What according to you is the biggest strength of your company in the solar industry and how do you plan to leverage this strength in the Indian solar sector ?
Our track record as one of the largest EPC companies in Saudi Arabia augmented to the global presence with the robust promoter back ground supported by the vision to grow organically in the RE sector. Our strength is supplemented by the presence of varied experience in solar domain covering GCC, Europe, India and Bangladesh.
How has your experience been with your foray in the Indian Wind sector and how do you plan to replicate this with your proposed investment in the Indian Solar sector?
So far the journey in the Wind Sector has been pleasant with proper support from State and Centre. The nodal agency SECI is making environment conducive for the new developers and investors entering the RE space of India.
For the solar sector we want to enter with meticulous approach and maintain the quality for which Alfanar is globally known in this highly competitive era. We are building the core Solar team in India and working in Tandem at ground level to structure the infrastructure blocks of the Solar Projects (Land , Evacuation, approach, permits, etc..). We have rolled up our sleeves in India and the solar sector will see us aggressively coming up into both EPC and Development domains.