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Business News/ Companies / People/  Sterling & Wilson RE to look for additional investments: Amit Jain

Sterling & Wilson RE to look for additional investments: Amit Jain

In an interview, Amit Jain, the gobal CEO of Sterling and Wilson Renewable Energy said the company is considering expanding its operations and diversifying into newer areas, including battery storage and wind balance of system (BoS)

Sterling and Wilson Renewable Energy Ltd's debt is around ₹2,000 crorePremium
Sterling and Wilson Renewable Energy Ltd's debt is around 2,000 crore

NEW DELHI : The board of Sterling and Wilson Renewable Energy Ltd is considering getting more investments into the company, its global chief executive officer Amit Jain said. The talks for raising further capital come after Reliance New Energy Ltd, a unit of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), completed its acquisition of a 40% stake in the company in February last year. In an interview, Jain said the company is considering expanding its operations and diversifying into newer areas, including battery storage and wind balance of system (BoS). Edited excerpts:

What is your order book status? What are your expansion plans for the India business?

We have an order book in excess of 4GW right now in India. As of 31 March, in value terms, it was 4,500 crore. So, typically, it has been 70:30, with overseas having the major share of our business. But now that proportion is going to reverse. By FY25, we expected it to be 65:35, with most of our business in India.

Reliance New Energy picked up a 10% additional stake last year. Could we see further investments coming in?

Options are open, and we are discussing them with the board, but we have not decided anything. Our net worth right now is negative, but with the upcoming projects and the portfolio, the growth in the market and the revenues we are expecting, we will turn around pretty fast.

What is the status of solar project developments? Do supply constraints still persist?

Module capacities are coming up. I see the situation easing to a much better situation than last year but not completely. By the end of next year, I see the situation with respect to module supply completely in control and the domestic requirements, I hope, would be catered by local manufacturers.

But the only thing that needs to be checked is that domestic manufacturers are not exporting the bulk of their manufacturing. That’s a big concern for us that capacities are currently there, but most of the production, they are supplying to US markets. So, the export market is getting prioritized over Indian customers.

You diversified into battery storage globally. Can you outline your diversification plans?

We are going to cater to practically all the major aspects with respect to renewables. We are already doing solar. We are going to enter battery energy storage systems in a big way. We are already working on projects overseas, and we expect to deliver projects in India because this sector will explode and contribute revenues in a big way.

As early as this year, we should start working on a project. We are talking to PE funds and others who have set up their branches in India. So, we may start one of the projects as early as this year, either with a PE fund or an Indian corporate. We are definitely going into wind BoS (balance of system) this year. We plan to start with India with a smaller project this year and then see how those we can multiply because there is a lot of demand everywhere across the world.

Are you looking at the emerging space of green hydrogen?

Another area can be waste-to-energy and green hydrogen. We have not planned for this fiscal in terms of green hydrogen. We are keeping a close watch. Once the electrolyzer technology comes into place, because so far, not even a single big plant is there in the world, the whole hydrogen ecosystem will take another three years to come into place.

We are not going to be a (green hydrogen) developer. So, we are waiting for the technology and the market to mature and then decide our strategy.

What is the scenario in terms of debt right now?

Our debt is around 2,000 crore. We plan to be Ebidta positive by FY24, and retire our debt by FY25. Further, right now, looking at the 4,500 crore order book and whatever orders we are going to book this year, revenues will be significantly higher than what we had in FY23. Maybe we can say numbers can come close to double what we had in FY23.

So, to achieve an Ebidta positive, we have to do close to 4,500 crore. FY24 and FY25 revenue numbers are going to be significant.

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Published: 23 Jun 2023, 10:18 PM IST
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