Toshiba JSW to become regional investment arm for Japanese parent

Written by Subhash Narayan | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 9 2014, 09:46am hrs
Bullish about the growth prospects of the power market in the region, Japanese business conglomerate Toshiba Corporation plans to leverage its joint venture Indian company, Toshiba JSW Power Systems, to make investments in key neighbouring markets. It also plans to set up manufacturing facilities for power turbines and generators, including those based on supercritical technology.

Currently, all its global investments are made by the parent entity stationed in Japan. Once investments decisions are firmed up, Toshiba-JSW would become the only entity of the Japanese major to set up manufacturing facilities in overseas markets.

We are studying markets like Myanmar and a few other neighbouring countries to make a foray into the power business. The Toshiba-JSW venture in India could be used for making investments in these countries as well, if markets conditions are found suitable, Toshiba president & CEO Hisao Tanaka had told FE earlier.

Already, there is a plan to use the supercritical turbine generator manufacturing facility set up by the JV in Chennai to export products to other markets in the region. The facility, with an annual production capacity of 3,000 MW, is already being expanded to 6,000 MW to cater to the export demand. Once cash flows of the entity improve, the JV partners could pump in more capital to allow it to invest in new facilities abroad, said company sources.

The JV has already got orders for five sets of equipment from NTPC and is now looking to expand the consumer base both in India and abroad.

This would be a good model for a JV as several of the product requirements in the neighbouring countries match those existing in India, said another official of the JV company.

Apart from Myanmar, markets in West Asia and Southeast Asia could be potential locations for a Toshiba-JSW manufacturing facility. The company is already evaluating export orders from a few countries. The JV is also in talks to bag orders in countries as far as Canada.

Toshiba JSW Power Systems is a JV between Toshiba Corporation, Japan (Toshiba), and JSW Group, India (JSW), and was initially incorporated to manufacture and market supercritical steam turbines and generators for thermal plants in India.

The Japanese major has identified India as a key market for expansion. In February this year, Toshiba announced a $500-million investment into the Indian market to strengthen its social infrastructure businesses revolving around power, water management and software development sectors with the aim of making the country a strategic business hub catering to the company's global needs. It also decided to scale up manpower in the country by over 5,000 to take its total strength to 8,000 by 2017, 2.5 times higher than the current figure.