Coal shortage, raw material shortages, excessive dependence on domestic equipment manufacturers and non conducive Government policies are some major challenges faced by the sector. In case of Oil and Gas based plants, the rising prices of oil globally, fall in currency value of rupee and reduction in the domestic gas production has impacted severely. The thermal energy sector has to face severe fuel and equipment shortage.
Nasir Mulani, Managing Director, Citec India shares his views with Sandeep Sharma about his company, multi-discipline engineering solutions offered, core competencies, modularization, need for customization, challenges before the power sector, sector outlook, project portfolio and expansion plans. Edited Excerpts...
Tell us about your company, multi-discipline engineering solutions offered and your core competencies?
Citec specializes in engineering and information management solutions for energy, power, oil and gas, and petrochemical industries. To elaborate, Citec provides EPCM services (engineering, procurement and construction management) for plant owners, Investors and EPC-suppliers, being responsible for full scope of engineering services right from Basic Engineering & feasibility studies and to commissioning management. Along with engineering we
also offer a complete range of documentation, technical information creation and over all information management services. Citec is unique in offering such a combination of services.
Our core competence lies in power plants based on engine, boiler and turbine technology.
We shall continue developing services to add more values to our customer. Product Data Management (PDM) services being in the focus of our development efforts.
What kind of specialized services do you provide with regard to setting up of power plants? At what stage of the plant life-cycle do you get involved and up to what point?
Our Major USP is standardization of Modules/ structures in a project. Modularization is a way to save cost and time, the end result is a factory made product ensuring the use of all recommended standards and a reliable quality of product. We can also take care of the documentation part of the project to improve time-to-market and cost efficiency offering a total concept. We see great opportunities in the power sector where there are not many other companies that can offer similar complete solutions.
Citec has been involved in power plant projects worldwide since 1987. We work closely with our customers in projects, providing everything from single discipline engineering to turnkey designs including concept, basic and detailed engineering, as well as documentation and final as-built drawings. We are involved from the very beginning of the project starting from feasibility study, further with project initiation, engineering management, permitting assistance, procurement management, and construction management to commissioning management of the projects.
What kind of customization do you offer to your power sector clients based in India?
Divergent site conditions in the Indian power plants demand a lot of customization which Citec has been offering project to project. Also we know it is conventional in India to have space constraints for almost every plant. We have ensured optimum utilization of available space in such cases offering the best possible layouts. We have undertaken relocation projects and also extensions to existing plants where demands of minimum repercussion to existing set up have been challenging.
We also have lot of expertise in global projects which brings added value to the Indian projects. We use advanced 3D tools like PDMS, PDS, and SP3D with lot of our own customization, which brings a lively model to customer for easy review and comment, which helps the client make a faster decision on handling changes.
How far your engineering solutions and designs are effective in terms of lowering project cost, maximizing plant efficiency and minimizing environmental damage?
Competition is really hard in our market and so it is important that we challenge ourselves to continue to be the best choice for our customers. We secure the total project costs by Citec standardized processes and tailor made services. We try to add value to our services through exploring ways to reduce the project built up time for example, prefabrication. Ease and economy of transportation, equipment handling studies, noise reduction in case of plants close to residential setups are also factors we consider during design.
Citec provides increasing amounts of site activities for customers and therefore we see environmental management as an important part of our management system. Reducing emissions and material usage, developing engineering opportunities for recycling, energy minimization and pollution prevention are a part of our practices.
We have adopted strategies like careful studying of inputs, planning the best resources, research, close interaction with customer, implementation of all standards thus aiming for optimized projects and customer satisfaction.
How did your company fare in FY2012-13 in terms of orders booked from the Indian power sector?
We have drastically growth in domestic markets. In FY12-13 we have almost doubled the revenue compared to FY11-12 and still we are moving aggressively to reach our targets. We have bagged consecutive orders from ISGEC and improved cooperation’s throughout last year. We also bagged a critical project from Siemens India after a year long relationship which is extremely important. Now Citec will be a key engineering associate to Siemens to execute similar projects in the near future. We have provided our multidiscipline engineering consultancy services to three projects from Forbes India. We were associated with Lahmeyer-India for one project, seeing all these FY13-14 will be very promising year for Citec.
Could you share with us details about the major power projects you are associated with?
One of the major projects under work has been a 1x300 MW power plant in Estonia, where our scope involves structural steel design of the boiler, with total steel tonnage of 8000 tons (approx.) Another is a solar power station of 1x121 MW, our scope includes civil and structural design for whole plant consisting of basic engineering and detailed engineering excluding solar receiving station. We are also working on a 3x67.5 MW power plant located in Kalinganagar - Odisha, 3x16.5 MW cogeneration power plant in Saudi Arabia, 1 x 32 Mw cogeneration power plant in South Africa, Some more in the list are engine based power plants located globally.
Could you comment on the future technology pointers for power plants in India?
In India, despite of high focus and subsidies offered by the government on renewable energies, thermal power plant continues to dominate electricity production and will do so for many years to come. Environmental regulations and accountability of power plant owners is driving for clean power production and contributing to the conservations of earth resources. So the future definitely drives towards High efficiency, Low Maintenance of ultra super critical technology to minimize emissions and lower fuel costs with zero wastage.
What are the challenges faced by the Indian Power sector as of now?
Coal shortage, raw material shortages, excessive dependence on domestic equipment manufacturers and non conducive Government policies are some major challenges faced by the sector. In case of Oil and Gas based plants,
the rising prices of oil globally, fall in currency value of rupee and reduction in the domestic gas production has impacted severely. The thermal energy sector has to face severe fuel and equipment shortage.
Do you see turnaround for the power sector in the current financial year?
Some developments have been inspiring confidence in the sector such as Coal India Ltd has recently agreed on ensuring a minimum supply of 80% of contracted quantity of the coal to thermal power plants. Proposals to allow the involvement of private sector in further exploration and evacuation of coal are also under consideration. With proactive Government involvement in undertaking favorable policy amendments and increasing participation of private players the future of the Indian power sector looks slightly more assured for the latter half of 2013.
India’s new gas pricing regime too will boost investment in exploration and production, which will enhance energy security and help consumers in the power sector. End of the year we see an upward trend.
Going forward, what are your immediate and long term plans for expansion in India?
No doubt, the Indian Markets has a huge potential for executing Citec operations as we provide Engineering, consulting and information management services for Energy and Civil sectors. We have approximately 30% of revenue inflow from India alone and we aim to still add to this number.
We are also positive about one Indian acquisition in the coming years.
Citec Group has a target to double the turnover by 2015 and the maximum growth is expected from India. We have to grow three times by 2015. The headcount for the Indian office is estimated to rise from 350 to approximately 800. So we have definitely got a long way to go in India as well.