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ABB mulls EPC solutions for solar projects in India

According to reports, power equipment major ABB plans to enter the EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) space for solar projects in India.

“We want to take complete project executions like we have been doing globally and we are open to doing projects now,” Mr S. Chandrakumar, Head-Solar Industry Initiatives of ABB, told Business Line.

The company currently does partial EPC like executing eBoP (Electrical Balance of Plant) for projects.

ABB is also in the process of setting up a greenfield inverter manufacturing unit in India. Mr Chandrakumar said that the project was “under proposal” but declined to give details.

Currently, inverters are imported from its unit in Finland. An inverter is one of the critical parts in a solar power plant, and is typically replaced once in five years, so having a local manufacturing unit would be an advantage to the company.

“With the National Solar Mission, State solar missions and the renewable purchase obligations (RPO) on companies, we are very optimistic about the Indian market,” Mr Chandrakumar said.

The company recently entered the solar photovoltaic and solar thermal space in India in 2009. It closed calendar year 2011 with revenues Rs 120 crore, against Rs 2.5 crore in 2010. “We are confident that business here will grow,” Mr Chandrakumar said. It currently has orders worth Rs 5 crore on hand for the solar business for 2012.

The company manufactures solar inverters and substation components, and low voltage components like miniature circuit breakers, surge arresters and lightning arresters for solar fields, most of which are manufactured at ABB’s unit in Nashik, Maharashtra. The company also makes complete plant monitoring systems for solar fields.

Within a year, the company has completed orders for over 90 MW of inverters, about 60 MW of solar substations and 21 MW of Electrical BoP.

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