Elecon Engineering of Gujarat, a manufacturer of equipment for material handling equipment and power transmission for over four decades, has diversified into wind turbine manufacture with HMZ WindMaster of Belgium. Its production plant at Vallabh Vidyanagar is building WindMaster's 300 kW design, according to Mr VD Kalani, head of the firm's alternative energy division. Kalani boasts that the WindMaster is the only machine available in India with a 30 m diameter rotor without using blade extenders. Seven of the 300 kW units have been installed, according to Kalani, some for Elecon and some for customers including Arundoy Mills and GSL (India) Ltd. From Belgium, WindMaster reports that it has received an order from Elecon for 5 MW of wind plant, to be made up of 300 kW units with 30 m rotors. Elecon says it is building a 5 MW wind plant for Gujarat Telephone Cables Ltd for a site at Dhank where the company is also setting up its own 5 MW wind farm. According to Elecon, it plans to install 40-50 machines by March 1996, of which ten were due to be in the ground by last month. On larger machines, Kalani says candidly, "Our infrastructure is still poor and cranes are a problem."
A total of 55, 410 kW turbines from Kenetech of the US have been installed in India, 25 at Muppandal and 30 at Kayathar, according to Mr D Balakrishana, vice president of Aban Loyd Chiles, a joint venture set up between Indian company Aban Ltd and Kenetech. The company was planning to install a further 15 units at the sites. Kenetech is not able to comment on reports that the machines are not operating because of lack of infrastructure and grid connection. The company's Bud Grebey explains that the India sale is purely an equipment sale to ABAN. "I don't know what they do with them after afterwards," he says.