Areva close to India solar deals

Areva close to India solar deals

Mumbai: Areva Renewable, a unit of France’ Areva, is considering solar-thermal projects in India, its CEO said on Friday.

“We are discussing it with at least nine serious developers in India. We hope to close few MoUs (memorandum of understanding) in the coming weeks," Anil Srivastava said.

Most of the Indian power developers are discussing setting up 50MW solar-thermal power stations and Areva would be able to offer these projects at a cost of $3 million-$3.3 million (Rs13.35 crore-14.68 crore today) per MW, Srivastava said.

“If we were to make the plant today, we think we can achieve 70% localization in India, and we can achieve up to 90% localization going forward," reducing that cost, he added.

India’s National Solar Mission aims to increase grid connected solar power generation to 1,000MW by 2013 from 3MW at present and add another 3,000MW by 2017, government website showed. It also aims to achieve market leadership by locally producing solar-thermal gears.

“Solar is the new activity, which is absolutely a game changer for the country, and I believe for Areva as well."

It is also planning to use solar generated steam technology to bring down the capex for coal-fired power plants—the mainstay of Indian power sector—as it has done for Macquarie Generation’s coal-fired station in Australia, the India-born Srivastava added.

Areva Renewble will invest $15-20 million per mobile assembly units used for setting up the solar-thermal projects depending on the number of project wins and would double the headcount for the firm in next 6-18 months from 165 now, he said.

It has been involved in India’s renewable energy sector since 2004, supplying turnkey biomass based power plants from Chennai and completed five such power projects, a company handout showed.

Indian offshore wind farm development would also require Areva Renewable to develop supply chain as the logistics and manufacturing of heavy-engineering parts is favourably done locally with Indian partners, Srivastava added.