India Power Corporation Ltd (IPCL), a Kanoria Foundation firm, has formed a 50:50 joint venture (JV) with German energy firm Uniper to provide customised services to power plants in the country.
The firm will provide services such as plant operations and maintenance, asset monitoring software and analytical tools, flexibilisation of units, lifecycle extension and supply and integration of pollution control equipment and systems, IPCL Chairman Hemant Kanoria said here.
“Uniper’s experience of managing a portfolio of about 40 GW in various countries will allow the firm, India Uniper Power Services, to adopt best practices and make the thermal power plants in India more competitive,” he added.
IPCL’s expertise and knowledge of the local market will aid the JV company in becoming a key player in the thermal power generation sector, Kanoria said.
Uniper CEO Klaus Schafer said that European power firms faced many problems that India can expect to see in the coming years.
“Renewables build out will impact the operating regime of conventional power plants with a need for an increased plant flexibility. Besides, a tightened environmental policy will require upgrades and new power plant emission control processes,” he added.
Here, Uniper with is experiences in these areas will he able to provide expert guidance to the plants, Schafer said.
“We see good potential in the power business here. With the current and expected changes in the sector, there is huge opportunity to offer services to existing and new power plants to help improve their efficiency, operations and be ready for market and regulatory changes,” Kanoria explained.
He said the JV firm will commence operations in the current financial year.
Schafer said the firm will provide predictive preventive maintenance, which is to act before a situation arises and to rectify it.
On the scope for the JV, Kanoria said close to 70 per cent of India’s power generation capacity is coal-based, which has been through huge investments. Many of the plants require dedicated operations, maintenance and process support for enhancement of efficiency and optimisation of costs.
“A substantial part of India’s power generation will be coal-based due to availability of dry fuel and low generation cost. But, renewable energy is expected to see a substantial capacity addition, making it important for thermal plants to optimise processes,” he explained.
Uniper offers a broad range of services with a focus on power generation and global commodity trading.
IPCL has diversified portfolio with renewable and conventional modes of power generation, distribution and power trading. It is also is setting up a 450 MW coal-based power plant at Haldia, which is expected to be commissioned later this year.