We are well positioned for a clean energy future in India: ABB India MD & CEO

Managing Director and CEO of ABB India, Sanjeev Sharma

For ABB, India holds a lot of significance. In an interview with Sanjay Jog, ABB India MD & CEO SANJEEV SHARMA explains company's strategy to increase its presence in the country.

How equipped is ABB to tap opportunities in India's railways sector?

We recently won an order from Alstom to supply 1,600 traction transformers for 800 new electric freight locomotives. We are encouraged by the recent focus on innovation and technology in the railways. ABB has a host of solutions and technology for the sector as electrification proceeds. We are also working on increasing the efficiencies of diesel locos. Another area of specialisation is static frequency converters for the improvement in power quality of electrical systems.

Renewable energy is another area where we could add value to Indian Railways. Digital substations, which bring enormous efficiencies in terms of cabling, reduced installation phases and operational cost reductions are another area.

How are you engaged in renewables?

We span the complete renewables chain in a host of product and system requirements. About half of all solar energy generated in India passes through ABB equipment and 45 per cent through ABB inverters. Renewables' contribution to our order book rose from two per cent in 2014 to 15 per cent in 2015.

What is your plan for the transmission and distribution segments?

We have been a part of the Indian power landscape for decades. ABB is building the world's first multi--terminal ultra high voltage direct current link, to bring hydel power from the northeast to Agra, to serve 90 million Indians.

For distribution, ABB is well positioned, having already executed India's first and largest SCADA system for feeder-level monitoring, with 40,000 devices, in Karnataka. We have designed, engineered and implemented another state-of-the-art SCADA/DMS system for distribution companies in the National Capital Region. This system remotely monitors the health of the distribution networks in real time and covers all the grid stations, 11 Kv transformers and feeders. We have designed and engineered multiple compact substations to meet the requirements of teeming Indian cities.

And, as we are a global leader in renewable technology, smart grids and microgrid technology, we are very well positioned to partner a power landscape with a cleaner energy future.

Are you exploring opportunities in the smart city project?

We are one of the few companies whose solutions for smart cities extend from electricity grids to water networks, transportation, building automation and district cooling and heating. We have a wide range of offerings in this space.

What are your capital expenditure plans for the coming years?

ABB has been investing in India for decades.This is a continual process of upgrading or adding, at an average capex of $100 million per annum in various forms. While we are consolidating, we continue to invest in improving our facilities, adding lines for our factories and cost optimising of existing lines.

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