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Pioneer Wincon to target sub-MW wind turbine segment

According to reports, while several wind turbine makers are launching higher MW capacity machines, city-based Pioneer Wincon Pvt. Ltd. continues to see good prospects in the smaller sub-MW machine segment, a top company official said here Wednesday.

The Rs.120-crore company, making 250 kw and 750 kw wind turbines, is focusing on cutting costs to cash in on the expected demand once the central government reintroduces accelerated depreciation and generation-based incentive (GBI), S.Rajendran, chief operating officer, Pioneer Wincon, told IANS.

The firm is also looking at overseas markets like Turkey, the UK and the US while exploring possibility for a tie-up for bigger (one-MW) turbines.

“We will soon start sourcing blades for our 750-kW turbines from Gujarat. This will cut down our ocean freight and import duty costs as we are importing the blades from China. Our Chinese supplier is planning to get the blades manufactured at a facility in Gujarat,” Rajendran said.

Claiming the company’s cost per MW is Rs.5 crore, Rajendran expects the 750-kW machines to drive the company’s as well as the industry’s growth.

“Our target is to sell around 150 machines from 2014-15 onwards. Once we start sourcing the blades locally, the import content in our 750-kW machine will be around 22 percent,” Rajendran added.

On the plans for the company’s 250-kW turbines, he said the decision hinges on the market condition while agreeing that the demand for such machines has dropped now.

“Even earlier, demand for 250-kW machines was down but later revived. There is a class of investors like medium-sized enterprises who would want to save on their power costs by investing in wind power with their cash surplus,” Rajendran said.

According to him, this segment is awaiting clarity on the central government policy so as to commit investments-fresh and for re-powering existing machines.

The policy decision, he said, is the re-introduction of accelerated depreciation and incentives package that were scrapped by the government from this fiscal.

He said a scaled incentives pac kage, based on the local content in the wind turbine, will be a welcome feature as it would give boost to manufacturers having high localization levels.

“The market for sub-MW turbine makers is hit mainly due to policy uncertainty. If that issue is resolved, the demand for smaller turbines will pick up. Small wind turbine makers offer tailor-made solutions to investors,” Vineeth Vijayaraghavan, a city-based renewable energy consultant, said.

Speaking about Pioneer Wincon’s export plans, Rajendran said there are countries that encourage sub-MW class machines like Turkey.

“Exports will happen slowly. We are looking to ship out around 10 machines next fiscal. We are looking at markets like Turkey, US, the UK and the Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan market is ideal for sub-MW class machines,” he said.

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