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Powerica to market Vestas wind turbines

According to reports, in its new avatar in India, Danish wind turbine major Vestas has turned to its Indian customer, Powerica, for marketing.

The pact with the Mumbai-based Cummins diesel genset manufacturer is close to finalisation, sources in the know say. Powerica will sell Vestas turbines in India and also take care of servicing the machines. Vestas will only make and sell the wind-power turbines.

In September 2012, Vestas had said it would “scale down its sales efforts in India”, which meant it was quitting the market. The decision was part of its global restructuring plan.

Since the end of 2013, however, Vestas has been focussed on coming back. The company’s employees have been speaking of a “new business model” — the tie-up with Powerica.

Souces say it will not be a Vestas-Powerica joint venture but only an exclusive marketing agreement.

Powerica, which says it makes about 1,800 MW of diesel gensets a year, and has sold over 10,000 machines, is also the owner of 102 MW of wind power. It has wind farms in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu and uses only Vestas turbines.

Vestas was one of the earliest wind turbine manufacturers to set up shop in India. It came into India in collaboration with RRB. Vestas-RRB was a well-known brand in the mid-1990s and was the second highest selling turbine, after NEPC Micon, which was a joint venture between NEG Micon of Denmark and the NEPC group.

In 1996, NEG was taken over by Vestas in Europe, consequent to which the NEPC Micon partners had to split up. NEG operated on its own in India, as a subsidiary of Vestas, even though Vestas was present through Vestas RRB as well.

In 2004, the partners of Vestas-RRB decided to part ways. Vestas was on its own and all the operations of NEG were subsumed under Vestas. When it quit India, Vestas had about 3,000 MW of standing machines.

The Danish major is coming back to India at a time when the wind market is looking up. In 2013-14, the industry added 2,126 MW of wind turbines, exceeding expectations; it surprised everybody by installing 800 MW in March alone. The government has said it will bring back the ‘accelerated depreciation’ benefit, which will encourage profit-making companies to set up wind turbines to save tax. This move is expected to give the wind power industry a boost.

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