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Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) has entered the wind market in India in a partnership agreement with Sree Rayalseema Power Corporation Ltd (SRPCL). The venture intends to install 20 MW of wind power before March 1997, the end of the new financial year.

The decision not to rush onto the market before the end of the 1995/96 fiscal year was deliberate, says SRPCL's chief executive officer, TS Kanagaraj. Sree Rayalseema is part of the TGV Group and an established power plant constructor in the private sector, building diesel, hydro and combined cycle projects in Andhra Pradesh.

"Ours is the only company with a background of power and energy to have got into wind energy. This presents us with an opportunity to bring together experts on power already on staff," says Kanagaraj. Armed with INR 700 million in investment and loan capital, supported on an equity base of INR 600 million, SRPCL will start with a 10 MW project to supply power directly to the company. A further 10 MW will be built annually over the next five years to supply power to its customers.

The company has already bought a site in Ambatoor in Madras for its manufacturing plant, which will be up and running by September. The first year's production is planned at 120 machines, followed by 200 machines in the second and third years. The factory will have a production capacity of 240 machines a year.

Initial plans are to build a 5 MW wind farm at Muppandal and a 2 MW wind farm in Andhra Pradesh, to be extended to 5 MW. Each 5 MW wind farm will be monitored and operated from the head office in Hyderabad. Operation and maintenance will be free of charge over that period. "This will help sort out initial problems and give the client a good deal for his investment," according to Kanagaraj.

The SRPCL-MHI collaboration, "encompasses a complete dovetailing approach to quality control, rapid indigenisation, and development of expertise in wind resource assessment, micro siting and wind farm management. We will also run apprenticeship schemes and train personnel," says Kanagaraj.

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