Suzlon plans 3GW push in windy Gujarat

INDIA: Suzlon plans to develop 3GW of renewable-energy projects in the Indian state of Gujarat by 2020.

The Kutch wind farm in Gujarat with Suzlon turbines
The Kutch wind farm in Gujarat with Suzlon turbines

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The manufacturer believes it can attract INR 240 billion ($3.86 billion) to the state on the north-west coast with its latest plans. It also believes 6,000 direct jobs and 75,000 indirect jobs could be created.

Suzlon said it was taking up the challenge set by prime minister Narendra Modi to install 2GW of wind projects in Gujarat.

Gujarat is Modi's home state. According to Windpower Intelligence, it already has a capacity of around 3GW. Suzlon has provided just under half of these machines.

"The state of Gujarat has the longest coastline in India," a Suzlon spokesperson said. "With the inland windy sites, the state has potential for 12GW of wind power."

The announcement comes amid reports that Suzlon is preparing to raise finance via an IPO for its successful German subsidiary Senvion. In recent years, Suzlon has been struggling with debt repayments following an acquisition spree in the late-2000s.

The latest announcement is part of a national campaign called Make-in-India. The campaign is aiming to make India a global manufacturing hub by developing a "sophisticated supply chain" for end-to-end and state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities in the south and west.

In October 2014, Suzlon chairman Tulsi Tanti said the firm planned to install 2GW of wind projects in the neighbouring central India state of Madhya Pradesh by 2020.

Suzlon installed the first of its 120-metre tubular steel hybrid tower in Gujarat in November. The tower, installed with a 2.1MW turbine, is designed to increase energy output by 12-15%, Suzlon said.

The company is also looking at the offshore sector. Last month, the group joined a government feasibility study into developing an offshore project of up to 300MW in the Arabian Sea, off Gujarat.

The study is being carried out in partnership with India's power ministry and wind developer Gujarat Power.

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