Q. Your operations are in 31 countries across the globe, what prompted you to start your manufacturing operations in India?
LEONI has been present in India for some time now. The Indian Manufacturing for Industrial Products started in 2013, with Refinery Projects like Reliance being a loyal customer.
Since 2014-15 onwards India has been one of the significant Global markets for Solar and the rate at which it has grown in last couple of years is impressive.
LEONI has been committed to Business in India and other markets addressable from India. The government with the “Make in India” and the JNN Solar Mission has been supportive.
The location, far reaching trade relations, access to skilled manpower, strong domestic market and Logistical advantage are some quick thoughts which prompted the decision to “Make Solar DC Cables in INDIA”.
LEONI expanded its facility last year by setting up the new Solar Line as well as setting up the EBEAM facility which is currently operational.
Q. As of now you have seen the ambition of solar sector in India, how is Leoni addressing this demand in India with its portfolio of products for solar and wind industry?
In several regards, Indian Solar Market had been dependent on the developed countries for the technology and on China to some extent for the Manufacturing prowess.
The quantum of solar modules imported from China and different Solar Technologies inducted from Developed Countries signify this.
The job in such a market is dual pronged. To spread the word about the advantages/ must have features of an application specific products against a generic product and then justify the Business preposition of the same to the customer.
In this regard, the Indian market has been tremendously demanding and probably is one of the pioneering markets to reach the maturity in the market. With consolidation, the responsibility on performance and longevity is the thing to look for.
LEONI offers a complete range of DC string cabling products including the BETAFLAM Solar DC Cables, LEONI LSC Solar Connectors, LEONIPSOBOX Solar Junction Boxes.
LEONI also offers products like Main DC cables in Aluminium construction for Large scale Projects and MODBUS Cable for communication in the Solar Projects. All these products are designed, manufactured in accordance to the Global Standards.
Q. Please tell us more on your quality tests that you perform on your products before you ship it to your customers?
LEONI follows a very meticulous Test plan and has a in house Lab best Equipped to ascertain the product quality. Particularly with the Solar DC cabling products, the lower conductor resistance and longer life expectancy is very important.
After production Tests like Hot Set, Conductor Resistance, Accelerated ageing test and other Routine acceptance tests are carried out. We also offer Factory tests to our customers based on their expectations.
We offer best quality for a reasonable price.
Q What are your thoughts about ‘Make in India’ campaign? What benefits does the company take from it?
“Make in India” was one of the factors influencing our decision to set up the Solar Junction Box Manufacturing Line in India. It is a good initiative for industry as well as for the society.
However, certain level of concentricity in different rules/norms of the trade/industry is expected. The government should implement measures to offer level playing field to the companies making in India.
The import duty structure and BCD exemption on the Select Solar Components are one such example, where the companies making in India are devoid of level playing field against the Chinese dumping.
Q. What are the achievements of Leoni in India till date and brief us more on your future plans for this market?
LEONI in India has been on path of growth and success. There has been a strong commitment and consistent investment by LEONI. We currently have as many as six Business Unit present in India.
Solar & Wind (SW) and Industrial Projects (IP) Leading the Pack. They are followed by Transportation (TR), HealthCare (HC), Fibre Optic (FO) and Digital Solutions Group (DSG).
Q. Please tell our readers more about your BETAflam Photovoltaic power cables?
LEONI has been supporting the Solar Market with right kind of Cable products since early days. There are several installations in Europe which are performing for more than a decade now. During these years the characteristics/features of the Solar Cable have improved a lot and the expectations also have gone up in exponential proportion.
For a market like India, which is very sensitive to LCOE or the Landed tariff of the Electricity, a capable evacuation infrastructure is a must. LEONI cables offer best evacuation performance and excellent life expectancy.
The BETAFLAM 125 RV Flex 1500V is the product for PV DC market. This cable is copper conductor, XLPO insulated in construction and cross-linked with Electron Beam Technology.
This product offers excellent weather resistance, best conductor resistance and is very flexible. It is also resistant to scratches, Ozone and Hydrolysis. In red and white marking these cables ensure safe sleep for the end user.
Q. As a cable manufacturer for solar photovoltaic installations please tell us more about the 1500 V DC market. How do you see the demand in India for this segment?
LEONI was one of early birds to offer 1500V Cables and Components for the Optimised DC infrastructure and slowly the trend is shifting due to its advantages. The Cable requirement by Value in a Solar Project is a little less than 2%. With 1500V infrastructure, more no of modules can be accommodated in the single string. This will further reduce the cable value in the Project Capital Cost.
The catch here is that, 100% of the project performance is dependent on the 1.5% of the Cabling cost. This is because of lesser no of string cables required to evacuate power. For efficient performance, faster paybacks and long life the DC cabling has to be dependable, robust and efficient. LEONI 1500V just does that.
The awareness in the market along with the push by the bodies like MNRE will mean whole ground mount market getting converted to 1500V by end of 2018.