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India's 1,200kV plans will create a boom period for power transmission

Venugopal Pillai ,  Wednesday, May 23, 2012, 17:28 Hrs  [IST]

Kamlesh Katariya— Kamlesh Katariya, Managing Director, Jyoti Power Corporation Pvt Ltd

Gujarat-based Jyoti Power Corporation Pvt Ltd is the flagship company of the multifarious Jyoti Power Group that offers total solutions in the power transmission sector-right from manufacture of conductors to executing turnkey EPC contracts. In an interaction with Electrical Monitor, Kamlesh Katariya speaks about his group's activities and growth plans. While admitting that the power transmission industry has its own set of challenges, he maintains that the times ahead in terms of business opportunities are very exciting. An interview with Venugopal Pillai.

The Jyoti Group, as we perceive, offers end-to-end services in the power transmission space. Please take us through your products and services, and also tell us about the specialized roles played by the various group companies.
Yes, we are a group of different companies engaged in diversified business related with the power transmission industry. We deliver various products and services as per client specification and requirements, in conjunction with relevant industry standards. Here is a short description about the products we manufacture and services that we provide.

Jyoti Power Corporation Pvt Ltd is engaged in EPC contracts of EHV transmission line and substation projects. We have successfully commissioned various EHV transmission lines and substation projects for government power utilities like Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd, Gurgaon; Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Ltd, Baroda; Tan Transco, Chennai, etc. We have also executed work for private players like Adani, Torrent Power, Essar, Reliance, Enercon India, Suzlon, Tata Group, etc. Our company has also been awarded "Best EPC Contractor" from GETCO - Baroda.

I would like to mention here that during the devastating cyclone in 1995-1996, we restored electricity in the districts of Jamnagar and Porbandar in record time. In couple of cases we completed the balance work of agencies when they were backed out from the contractual obligations in Gujarat.

Jyoti Power Transmission Pvt Ltd is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company engaged in manufacturing of EHV transmission line conductors such as Dog/Panther/Zebra/Moose, etc. and G.I. earthwire and staywire.

JHT Power Engineering Pvt Ltd is an ISO 9001:2008 certified company engaged in manufacturing of hot dip galvanized transmission line structures and substation structures. With two fabrication and galvanizing units and state-of-the-art manufacturing and fabrication facilities through imported computerized CNC machines, we currently have over 40,000 tonnes-per-year capacity for production of hot dip galvanized transmission towers and substation structures.

Jyoti Power Consultancy Pvt Ltd is engaged in providing structural consultancy for transmission lines and substation projects which are handled by highly qualified and experienced structural engineers.

Unique Power System is an ISO 9001:2008 Certified Firm engaged in manufacturing of Conductor, Earthwire and insulator hardware and accessories.

We also have in our group JES Projects that is engaged in detailed route profiling and survey work for transmission lines projects using modern GPS survey techniques with our highly experienced and dedicated workforce. We have surveyed different projects of GETCO and PGCIL.

Given that India is rapidly moving to the EHV power transmission regime, how are you gearing up to meet emerging business opportunities?
In order to keep pace with emerging business opportunities in the power transmission industry and that too in a highly competitive era, we are continuously upgrading our production as well as onsite working scenario techniques for most efficient and quality work to meet the target. We deploy modern imported machineries onsite for speedy stringing and erection work. Our tower manufacturing facilities are equipped with modern machineries for fabrication activities using imported computerized CNC machines. Further, we periodically upgrade and expand our conductor manufacturing capacities so that simultaneous production of various conductors can be achieved.

Jyoti PowerJyoti Group has executed projects for both government utilities and private sector players. What difference do you perceive whilst implementing contracts for the two forms of ownership?
Mainly, the payment is faster in private sector. Of course, PGCIL - Gurgaon is very punctual in realizing of payment! We also have to maintain high level of compliances for statutory requirements in private sector as well as in PGCIL.

Private sector is expected to play a key role in power transmission, as developers and owners of transmission lines. What impact do you see this having on EPC contracting companies?
I feel that only standard players with contrivance will be in a commanding position.

You have implemented several projects for Power Grid Corporation of India- Gurgaon. How do you rate business opportunities from PGCIL-Gurgaon given that it is likely to incur Rs.1 trillion in capital expenditure during the XII Plan period?
We find stupendous business opportunities for our company from PGCIL-Gurgaon. With ever-growing power demand due to globalization and industrialization of our country, PGCIL Gurgaon being an apex body in implementation of power transmission network pan India, evolves as the largest business offering utility for EPC contractors as well as for those involved in power sector. Of course, our participation depends on PQR (prequalification)!

Over the years, do you see any change in the tendering process of government power utilities?
Yes. There has indeed been a positive change in tendering process of government power utilities. Most of the government power utilities have incorporated online bidding scenario using secured digital signature certificate for their various tenders. This tendering process is secure as well as less time consuming as compared to traditional physical tendering methods.

Can you discuss some typical challenges during execution of power transmission projects?
There are no specific challenges. But some of the challenges that we most often face fall under two categories—onsite and offsite.

Major onsite challenges includes various problems while erection and stringing work, working in geographically uneven/harsh areas, other environmental problems, various ROW/field objections, work hindrance from local farmers/political elements and the backwash of an aftermath.

Offsite problems involve getting various approvals of critical nature such as power line crossings, railway crossings, highway crossings, etc., tree cutting approvals from forest department even when such approvals are in scope of state utilities.

The power sector is generally known to be facing acute shortage of manpower. What is your view and experience at the Jyoti Group?
Yes, at present it is very difficult to hire highly skilled or semiskilled persons because of competition. We have to agree with abnormal conditions about wages and other facilities even for migrant labourers!

What is your view on India's plan to move to 1,200kV power transmission? What challenges do you foresee?
India's plan to move to 1,200kV will result in a boom period for the power transmission industry. It will also create brief scope for EPC contractors as well as manufacturers of various products of power sector due to emerging demand growth of power in India. However, it will also attract numerous high-profile multinational companies from across the world to enter into India's power transmission Industry. This could create cut-to-edge competition amongst the prominent contractors and the latter shall find it challenging to their position intact due to domestic as well as international competition.

Jyoti PowerIndia is expected to see significant growth in its power transmission infrastructure in the years ahead. Do you think this would open up opportunities for companies to offer purely maintenance services?
Yes, more the infrastructure set up, more will there be scope and requirement for maintenance.

China has been playing a major role in the power equipment and construction contracts. What is the situation with respect to power transmission?
The situation is opaque with respect to power transmission!

Indian power transmission contractors are seen to be quite active in regions like Africa and Central Asia. Does Jyoti Group have any plans in bidding for overseas contracts?
Yes we have active plans for establishing our work footprint outside the Indian subcontinent into regions like Africa and Central Asia. Just last year, our company participated in tenders for African countries like Nigeria, Congo and Kenya.

What are some key corporate objectives that you would like to see Jyoti Group achieving in the next five years?
We plan to enhance our business to much more than its existing level, through team work. This is for the entire group of companies. It is a fact that there is no option to hard work!
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