"The Indian government is pursuing a clear course in expanding the energy supply, paying special attention to renewables," explains Heiko Schierenbeck, Director of International Business Development at SES since 1998, in other words from the very beginning of the company’s activities in India. "STEAG is now also well known in India for its expertise and experience in modern electricity generation, and that is why it is regularly approached to participate in invitations to tender. In the case of Singareni we were able to win through and concluded an operation and maintenance contract with SCCLL."
Operation & Maintenance Services (O&M) is the international term for what SESI employees do here every day: this includes the operation, maintenance and repair of the power plant, as well as the coaling and ash disposal. "We're responsible for the entire operation," according to Dr. Andreas Hospital, Head of the O&M Department at SES, "both in the technical sense and in terms of business management." SESI currently services eight sites with a generating capacity of around 3.9 GW in India. This accounts for more than half the global O&M capacity of SES, which amounts to around 6.5 GW.
Since 2001, this Indian company with its roughly 1,000 employees has been the most personnel-intensive international subsidiary of SES and of the parent company STEAG GmbH. In Vizag, a port on the east coast of India, SES even holds a minority stake in the Vishakhapatnam power plant and is also responsible through a SESI subsidiary for the operation and maintenance of the two 520 MW coal-fired units. "From the planning, modernization through to the operation and maintenance and successful deployment of our optimization systems, we have completed numerous projects since then," explains SESI Managing Director Anand Bansal, who co-ordinates not only the company's own personnel but also a further 1,000 colleagues from third-party companies from his base in Noida near the capital New Delhi. "We are now the market leader in the field of "Renovation & Modernization".
Increasing the renewables share
SESI in India can also contribute its experience in the expansion of renewable energies. Since Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed the International Climate Change Agreement the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has been planning to make a dramatic increase in the portion of power generation accounted for by renewables and nuclear energy and to reduce the share of coal-generated electricity accordingly. The share of solar energy alone is to be increased by the year 2022 from the current 20,000 MW to 100,000 MW. In total, the CEA then plans to feed as much as 175,000 MW in energy from renewables into the grid. At the present time the share of renewables is about 15 percent of the total capacity.