“We wish to make India an important manufacturing, engineering and services hub for our global business”
Comment on the current thermal power generation scenario for the company since it entered a JV in 2008 with JSW and key learnings since then till date.
Toshiba established its joint venture with the JSW group in 2008 to manufacture steam turbine generator sets with unit size ranging from 250 to 1000 MW using supercritical technology and applying the manufacturing technology adopted by Toshiba worldwide. With introduction of bulk order concept by the Government of India and NTPC, Toshiba participated in such tenders and won three contracts for three different locations. These are for design, supply, erection and commissioning of steam turbine generator systems for:
1) 3×800 MW Kudgi power project in Karnataka of NTPC
2) 2×660 MW Meja power project in Uttar Pradesh (a JV between NTPC and UPRUVNL)
3) 2×800 MW Dalipalli power project in Odisha of NTPC.
In addition a full EPC contract was won in 2015 for 1×660 MW for UPRUVNL at Harduaganj in Uttar Pradesh. TJPS is currently executing four projects, has an engineering, procurement and construction team to execute the abovementioned projects and also has the capacity to take up more projects. We have also developed systems and strengths to meet the challenging requirements of executing power projects in India. We learnt from clients/suppliers and consultants the methodologies that are applied in India in executing projects while taking into consideration the different and challenging constraints here when compared to executing similar projects in other parts of the world. We also contributed towards modifying the practices and methodologies that benefit the execution of projects especially in optimising redundancies and meeting schedules. Improvement in execution methodologies is a constant process and learning brings improvement and overcoming constraints for better performance, even as we continue to bring in improvements.
Toshiba JSW bagged an order from Uttar Pradesh Rajya Vidyut Utpadan Nigam Ltd (UPRVUNL) for a 660 MW thermal plant, which is to be commissioned in 2019. Kindly give details of its current status. What is your current order book value and what other projects is the company working on?
In 2015 the contract for an EPC for 1×660 MW Harduaganj thermal project was won against stiff competition encompassing large scope and responsibilities which is planned to be commissioned in 2019. In end 2015 after receipt of contract, the Government of India brought new regulations in respect of environment aspect towards emissions and other aspects relating to thermal power plants which had to be implemented before the project was commissioned. This entailed changes in the technical requirement, impacting costs and commissioning schedule of all ongoing thermal power plants.
This project of UPRUVNL also had to comply with such regulations and this aspect with new design has been agreed with UPRUVNL. Even in spite of such technical changes to main plant, the design and construction of other plant activities continued, ensuring a minimal impact of this major change on project schedule.
We are currently executing four projects having order booked since establishing the works at Chennai totalling to approximately 1,300 million US dollars. Apart from these projects we have, in the pipeline, certain projects where we are participating for certain IPP’s in India and are also supporting our global offices in various parts of the world where Toshiba has won projects or is in the process of bidding.
Since Toshiba is to carry out the plant’s engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), comment on overall EPC in power segment scenario since last year.
Our company besides executing EPC projects in other parts of the world had the experience of executing the 2×500 MW Anpara B thermal project in Uttar Pradesh for UPRUVNL in 1993-94 which has been operating excellently for over 20 years. In 2015 we bagged an order for the Harduaganj power project in Uttar Pradesh, which is under execution. The concept of EPC puts all responsibility for design, supply and construction under a single entity which not only shares major risks of the customer for scheduled completion but also ensures minimal interfaces with other agencies and brings ease of integration of plant for power evacuation. Since the last 2 years, public sector companies have resorted to issuing tenders and contracts inclined to EPC mode of contracting either for whole power plant or for main plant equipment i.e. boiler turbine generator covering all scope of civil, mechanical, electrical and control systems. The intent is to reduce interface issues and inter-dependent works within main plant. This not only improves execution performance but also helps in reducing risk for the customer in overall execution of a power project.
Kindly suggest what ought to be done in view of challenges of land acquisition, environmental clearances and the poor financial health of state discoms.
We currently have a role of contractor and our participation becomes live after the client has completed or is in process of completion of land acquisition, have obtained environment clearance and have tied-up funds. Even after placement of orders, certain aspects which need to closed for smooth execution are not fully completed, which does impact the execution schedule.
Our suggestions for smooth execution of power projects and foremost areas that need attention are;
a) Land acquired should be close to the fuel source and should be completed covering off site facilities like ash pond, rail transport network around the plant with right of way for power evacuation etc.
b) Related infrastructure where the plant is to be built should be developed, which will support faster execution.
c) Funds that are required should be completely tied and the same should be dedicated for construction of the plant.
d) The required power evacuation planning and readiness should match the power plant’s construction schedule.
e) For securing payments for power plant owner against supply of power, the buyer (discoms) should devise a method of providing payment security mechanism that supports the power plant owner to have regulated returns as provided for by regulatory commissions while approving the power tariff and such mechanism should be appropriately provided in the power purchase agreement.
Kindly comment on the company’s strategy to overcome the shortage of skilled manpower in the power segment in view of Toshiba’s attempt to “provide 100 % indigenous power plant solutions from India not only for the Indian market but also for the rest of the world”.
Although we have employed experienced engineers having enough exposure to engineering, procurement and construction, we have since establishment of joint venture in India been imparting training to employees in India by giving them on-job training at our global works, engineering offices, project sites including external institutes.
These efforts for skill development continue and our strategy is have more Indian engineers to support the vision of providing 100% indigenous power plant solutions and also extend services from India for our global requirements. Our strategy is to have more Indian engineers/technicians and manufacturing hands to become experts to apply the improved technologies and subsequently apply the same globally.
It is felt by many in the industry that the move towards renewables will impact thermal generation. Your views on optimal utilisation and efficiency of existing power plants and what, in your view, is the market size for improving the efficiency and upgrading power plants?
While appreciating the importance of renewable energy but knowing its limitations and retaining the energy mix to meet the forecast demand, we are of the firm opinion that conventional power from fossil fuel would continue to be a major contributor to the energy basket. We as part of a responsible organisation would encourage application of clean energy for which as Toshiba group our portfolio covers thermal (Coal and gas), hydro, geothermal, nuclear, solar, wind and other modalities of power generation that help in cutting CO2 emissions. For improving efficiency and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, Toshiba has been developing technologies like super-critical, ultra super-critical and also advance ultra super-critical to support reducing carbon emissions.
The government of India has already planned that from 13th Five Year Plan, power plants applying super-critical technologies will be applicable. Further, old plants which have lived their design life would be replaced by super-critical power plants.
The Government of India has already initially identified approximately 30000 MW and in the next phase of retirement of plants, the numbers may be similar or more for replacement with super-critical and higher efficiency power plants.
For new plants using fossil fuel, the higher efficiency super-critical, ultra super-critical power plants shall be set up to meet demand in line with projected growth for energy security. We believe that in the next three decades the estimated power capacity using coal applying higher efficiency super-critical power plants would jump by more than three times from the current capacity.
In addition to efficiency improvement of new plants and replaced plants, efficiency maintenance of operating plants is essential to reduce carbon dioxide emission. Efficiency of plants deteriorates without proper maintenance. So TJPS can contribute for efficiency maintenance and improvement using Toshiba’s state-of-the-art technologies and experience.
Since Toshiba JSW has been delivering supercritical steam turbine generators, comment on the scenario where adoption of such technologies is yet to reach its full potential and to what extent price-consciousness has played the part of a deterrent. What would you suggest ought to be done?
Toshiba has been delivering super critical and ultrasuper critical steam turbines globally and in India. In respect of India the first introduction of Toshiba’s super-critical turbine was made by GCPL Mundra power station and its 5×830 MW turbines began operations from March 2012 to March 2013. TJPS has been executing super-critical and ultra super-critical projects since 2012.
Initial application of super-critical technology was seen to be expensive but over the years comparing benefits and performance including environmental consciousness, the resultant prices for initial setting up using super critical technologies is not a deterrent.
Keeping in mind environmental benefits, operational flexibility and large integration of other modalities of power, application of super-critical technology or ultra super-critical technologies or even introducing Advance ultra super-critical technologies using higher size units with more flexible operation will support the intent of providing reliable and affordable power.
So we suggest that usage of ultra super-critical units should be encouraged and we understand that the Government of India is also exploring developing Advance ultra super-critical technology materials indigenously for application of such technologies. We support such application and would like to participate for usage of these technologies.
Elaborate on the company’s contribution to the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Toshiba in 2008 established a joint venture for manufacture of steam turbine generator sets much before the Make in India initiative. The phase-wise manufacturing programme has been developed as envisaged. Our intent is continuing in ensuring complete indigenisation in manufacturing activities. We are also continuing our efforts in developing other Indian manufacturing units for ancillaries to steam turbine generator systems and Balance of Plant (BOP) equipment.
In view of shortage of Balance of Plant (BOP) equipment that affects projects, how are BOP and renovation and modernisation (R&M) segment currently placed?
With several joint ventures or technology transfer agreements for manufacture of steam turbine generators, boiler and auxiliaries, the capacity to meet the forecast demand of fossil-fuel equipment is adequate. However, the development of BOP equipment manufacture sometimes did not match with capacities developed for the main equipment. The capacities and number of BOP players need to be matched to ensure tandem development of a complete coal-based power plant in appropriate completion time. With regard to R&M, the process applied is slow and results of main plant (boiler and steam turbine generator) are not encouraging as performance did not meet as envisaged in the majority of cases. In view of environment consciousness, it is desired that old plants using sub-critical technology be replaced with super-critical technologies using higher efficiency.
Does the company have plans to manufacture nuclear reactors in India? Elaborate on the company’s plans to make steam turbines if India revives plans for nuclear power generation. Also on plans to export to South East Asian, Middle East and African markets.
Currently Toshiba (TJPS) has the mandate to manufacture steam turbines using super critical technology. However, the ultra super-critical technologies will also be made available at our factory in Chennai. The Chennai manufacturing unit will become a manufacturing hub for global business including South East Asia, Middle East and African markets. In regard to steam turbines for nuclear power generation, our Chennai factory has the capability for manufacturing and can supply to Indian nuclear projects. In respect of nuclear reactors, TJPS doesn’t have the manufacturing capability and plan to acquire it.
What are your future plans in India?
We have applied super-critical technologies in India and would continue to apply new technologies with enhanced efficiency to enable developers to derive benefits of efficient and proven technologies that have been applied by us in Japan and other parts of the world. In addition to new plants and replaced plants, we are aiming to expand our services business for efficiency maintenance and improvement for operating plants. We also wish to export our STG from India to other parts of the world and make India as an important manufacturing, engineering and services hub for our global business.