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India

India

Going into India alone

India is allowing a foreign manufacturer to set up shop independently in the country. As yet, Danish wind turbine manufacturer Micon has not decided if it will use the permit to open a sales office or launch a full manufacturing facility of its own. Until now in India, Micon has partnered the National Energy Processing Company (NEPC) in Tamil Nadu.

India is bending one of its rigid rules and allowing a foreign manufacturer to set up shop independently. As yet, Danish turbine manufacturer Micon has not decided if it will use the permit to open a sales office or launch a manufacturing facility, says the firm's Ole Bøgelund Nielsen. Micon has until now partnered the National Energy Processing Company (NEPC) in Tamil Nadu.

Meantime, NEPC Micon, the flagship of the $417 million Chennai-based NEPC, is changing its name to NEPC India Limited. It will also be shifting its registered office from Chennai to Coimbatore. Madhu Sudan Khemka, NEPC India's director, says: "Our name change is to give importance to the other activities of the group." The diversified interests of the company include airlines, solar energy and commodities.

NEPC started life in 1991 as a wind turbine manufacturer in collaboration with Micon. Over the years it emerged as the largest producer of wind technology in India. NEPC has also signed a memorandum of association within the field of solar technology with Omnion Power Corporation of the US. Micon's share of NEPC is now just 0.3% of the company's $18 million equity, says NEPC Micon. "Our present relations with Micon continue," says Khemka. "While there are always negotiations from time to time in long lasting relations, there is nothing specific now." Bøgelund Nielsen confirms that for the time being it will be business as usual with NEPC.

Rumours are circulating in India that Micon is proposing to tap the whole of the south east Asian wind market -- including China -- from a base in the country. These are neither confirmed nor denied by Bøgelund Nielsen. "It can become whatever," he comments. He adds that he is convinced the Indian wind market will return to its former dynamism after a disappointing year. "The Indian government's goal for wind power development remains unchanged -- and neither has the country's requirement for electricity diminished," he says. Micon has plans for the adoption of "slightly different" sales models for India, adds Bøgelund Nielsen.

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