Inox Wind: Dominating India’s green energy industry
As India’s leading wind energy solutions business, Inox Wind provides blades, tubular towers, hubs, and nacelles created in its state-of-the-art facilities in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
Thanks to the company’s current and ongoing goal of increased renewable energy capacity provided by the Indian government, it has been able to expand and add more facilities. Last year alone, an 800 MW blade facility and integrated manufacturing unit was commissioned in the state of Madhya Pradesh, which is set to have a yearly production capacity of 400 rotor blade sets. It will be one of the biggest in Asia, the largest in India, and thanks to this, the company will be able to double its production capacity to 1,600 MW. This facility in particular will be vital for new projects in the south of India.
Kailash Tarachandani is CEO of Inox Wind, and has over 25 years of experience in strategy management, global project execution, product management, and business development. He has been a key player in the building of organisations from the ground up, developing technologies, and aiding in the progression of management teams. He leads Inox using his expansive knowledge, overseeing its performance, corporate strategy, policy formation, and ensuring a positive and ethical work environment. He tells us about the ways in which Inox is working hard to maintain and develop itsreputation and status as a leading player.
“As a strategic move, we are currently adding products which will ensure viability in the era of competitive bidding and rapidly changing factors of payback,” Tarachandani explains. “Going forward, we are continuously diversifying our product portfolio to ensure good returns on sites where natural resources for power generation are comparatively low.”
Inox is chasing unceasing innovation in its domain of wind power, and there are two sides of this: one driven by statutory compliances, and the other by expected returns by investors.
“Creating a 120 metre concrete and steel hybrid tower is one such innovation,” says Tarachandani. “Subsequently we are developing turbines to be ready for future grid compliances.
“Also a system based on LIDAR [which stands for light detection and ranging] is under testing, which is for the performance optimisation and cost reduction of the turbine. Our wind-solar hybrid system is being evaluated for the optimisation of existing resources.
“Aside from all these developments, we are evaluating our turbines with bigger rotor dia blades and developing the next generation of greater capacity turbines for further reduction in cost and maximisation of returns.”
Inox is also undertaking projects for some reputed public sector utility companies, plus a 250MW SECI project which was won during the first wind energy auction in India; the company expects to win a further 500-750MW worth of projects by the end of the next quarter.
Working with large and complex pieces of equipment can be challenging, Tarachandani admits, “especially in a country where import infrastructure and logistics are yet to be mature enough to allow smooth transportation. We are importing some of the very complex equipment from Asian and European countries, and the challenge is that the equipment is very expensive with a long lead time. As the industry is driven by regulation, there are instances where our cash flow cycle does not move as we expect, so our production has to be in sync with the project execution.”
High costs can also make it difficult to be competitive, but Inox focusses on continuously evaluating and improving its technology and products – a necessity considering how complicated the technology involved is. The company prides itself on using the latest technology available for all its products, and by always honing its services.
Inox’s formidable level of service and product quality can only exist with a strong foundation of skilled workers, something Tarachandani is passionate about: “We are one of the best employers in the industry, and provide all-round growth for our employees,” he says. “The uniqueness of our organisation is our very flexible hierarchy system, where everybody is directly connected to everyone else, which makes thoughts and ideas travel faster.”
The marrying of skills and enthusiasm for the sector that Tarachandani and his team share is why Inox is the fastest-growing wind energy business in India and crossed a 2GW mark of sales in a very short time span. Reliability is key, and this flows from the team into the products Inox creates, which are well known in the industry for being able to withstand the most adverse weather conditions and providing total turnkey solutions – something very few wind energy organisations are able to do.
Inox has set itself some very ambitious targets that reflect the goals of India as a nation: “The Government of India is eyeing a massive target of 175GW of renewable energy by 2022,” Tarachandani explains. “Although it’s very ambitious, if we use the policy support being provided by the government, this looks quite achievable.
“Inox Wind has well synchronised itself in this movement and has shown manifold progress over the last 3-4 years. We are using every necessary resource to become one of the leaders of the industry and have maintained a position as one of the top three wind energy companies in terms of capacity addition. We look forward to improving that performance in the coming years.”
Tarachandani’s confidence is well-founded. Inox is one of the few companies in India to have achieved a AA or higher rating, and its 113 rotor dia turbine is ranked one of the top 10 offshore wind turbines in the world (according to Wind Power Monthly).
“In a nutshell, we have a supportive environment for wind power growth, a product that is a benchmark in cost competitiveness, quality technology, and an organisation which has the potential to become the leader of the industry,” Tarachandani concludes.