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Powergear Bangalore in JV with Gestamp-Spain a wind tower firm

There have been a slew of announcements in the solar space of JV and tie ups in the last few months in India as our readers know. The wind manufacturing space has grown steadily in India with about 7.5GW of manufacturing capacity in India today which is expected to reach about 10.5GW in 2012-13.

Chennai has been leading the efforts in manufacturing in India and the major players in Tamil Nadu include Vestas and Gamesa.

As Panchabuta had reported last month General Electric (GE) is mulling local manufacturing of wind turbine components that could substantially reduce the cost of equipment for wind energy customers, bring in advanced technology to India as well as create jobs. The firm currently imports complex components such as blades from China; local production would slash cost by 20-30% on certain components – there will be no import duties.

GE currently operates two assembly plants in Pune and Chennai. The firm had recently announced an initial investment of $50 million towards building a multi-product manufacturing facility – this would include the manufacturing of components for wind turbine as well. The wind turbine device comprises large blades, towers, electronic control systems and gearboxes among others. An executive from the firm said that there is a “huge commitment” to growing the wind sector in India from the company’s top leadership.

According to a report, Powergear, a Bangalore-based electrical equipment manufacturer for energy sector, has entered into a joint venture with Spanish wind power firm Gestamp Wind Steel to manufacture wind towers near Chennai with an initial investment of Rs 150 crore.

The JV company would set up a 20-acre greenfield manufacturing facility at Sricity, a planned integrated business city 60 km away from Chennai.

The company expects to start commercial production by the last quarter of the current fiscal year. The 60:40 JV firm, Gestamp Powergear Windsteel Ltd, in which Gestamp holds a majority stake, is targeting around 400 towers in three years to clock in sales of around Rs 500 crore in first three years of operation.

“The plant will be fully operational by three years and we are expecting a sales of Rs 150 crore revenue in the first year of operation,” said X Durairaj, chairman, Powergear Ltd.

He said that the JV would manufacture 130 towers in the first year of operation, expand it to 250-260 towers in the second year and to around 350 to 400 towers by the third year.

Gestamp Wind Steel would provide technology apart from investment, while Powergear would put in its manufacturing capabilities to the operations of the JV, he added. It would supply towers of 1.6 MW, 2.5 MW and 3MW for its customers.

Javier Ignacio Imaz Rubalcaba, CEO, Gestamp Wind Steel, said the company was convinced about the market potential for wind energy in India and had been looking for right partner to start joint operations.

According to another report, Mr Javier Imaz Rubalcaba, CEO, Gestamp, told Business Line today that Powergear was recommended for a joint venture partner by GE, which, incidentally has placed orders for 130 wind towers on Gestamp Powergear Windsteel.

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