“Policymakers Must Incentivise States to Phase Out Old Thermal Plants and Adopt RE to Replace Them,” – Anand Desai, Managing Director, Anupam Rasayan

Gujarat-headquartered chemical manufacturing company Anupam Rasayan announced last month that it had invested Rs 43 crore to set up a 12.5 MW captive solar power plant to help the company rationalise energy costs through an estimated saving of around Rs 10 crore per annum for the next 25 years. The firm, which has completed a very successful IPO earlier this year, is a key player in the speciality chemicals industry. We recently caught up with Anand Desai, Managing Director at Anupam Rasayan, to know more about this venture! Here are a few excerpts from our interview with him:

Q. Could you give us some details about the solar plant?

In a conscious move towards reducing dependence on non-renewable energy and cost saving measure, we at Anupam Rasayan decided to install a solar plant for our facilities. The size of the plant is 12.50 MW and will cater to the energy requirements of the majority of our manufacturing units. The commissioned plant will be located in Bharuch and will be helmed by KPI Global Infrastructure. The plant will have 36000 approximately modules and approx. 63 string inverters. It is expected to be completed by 30th September 2021.

Q. When did the firm decide on a solar plant? Why did they go for a capex model, instead of an opex model?

As a player in the speciality chemical sector, environmental sustainability is of topmost priority for us and we are on a constant lookout for ways to minimise carbon footprints. In addition, it is crucial to rationalise energy costs and achieve that through a cleaner source of energy. Considering all these factors, we decided to install a solar plant. It is important for industry players like us to be price-sensitive as well as environmentally conscious.

Since we were looking at long-term solutions for undeterred power supply and savings, the capex model seemed apt for this particular project.

Q. What proportion of its energy needs will be met by the new plant? Does the firm plan to invest further into renewable energy?

Approximately 35% of the Energy needs shall be met by the Solar Power Plant. Yes, we plan to further invest into Wind Turbines.

Q. Does the firm consider existing policies progressive, when it comes to encouraging RE adoption by corporates? What are the changes that could really provide a further push to adoption by more firms?

Yes, various policies and even the capital infusion by the government for renewable energy have been encouraging for solar manufacturers. In addition, these measures have also improved the acceptance of renewable energy by a larger audience, especially the corporates.

A mixture of push policies and pull mechanisms should be opted in India to mainstream renewable energy. There has been a significant interest observed from corporate India in RE, mainly driven by climate considerations and carbon footprint reductions. To further increase the adoption of renewable energy, policymakers must incentivise states to phase out old polluting thermal plants and adopt RE to replace them. Also, industrial buyers should have flexibility in their long-term PPAs (power purchase agreements) to benefit from future reductions in renewable energy cost.

Q. Was the plant set up dictated by any state level RPO (Renewable Purchase Obligations) for the firm?

No, the plant is set only for Captive Consumption.

Q. Has plant operations and maintenance been contracted out or being done in-house?

Yes, the plant maintenance has been contracted out to the Developer i.e. KP Group.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.