Excerpts from an exclusive interview with Mr. Katsutoshi Toda, CMD, Toshiba Transmission & Distribution Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd.”
Q1. Please tell us about TTDI, especially the position of Toshiba’s energy solution business, and the products that the company offers.
Toshiba is a market leader with expertise in end-to-end energy management systems and solutions including Power Generation, Transmission & Distribution and Power Storage. With a world-wide experience and extensive know-how in the energy transmission and distribution domain, Toshiba has established itself as a leading supplier of power transmission and distribution systems that deliver electricity to homes, commercial facilities and other users.
Since the inception of Toshiba Transmission & Distribution Systems (India) Pvt. Ltd. (TTDI) in 2013 with 20.0 billion yen (approx.US$200-million), we have reinforced our power businesses in India to cater to both domestic demand and export market. Spread over an area of 640,000 m2, TTDI manufacturing facility at Rudraram in Telangana is a state-of-art global manufacturing hub of the parent company with a workforce of more than 5,000.
TTDI has secured a leadership position in India’s distribution transformer segment and has a wide product portfolio which includes transformers (from 11 kV to 765 kV), vacuum circuit breakers, compact substations, Solid Insulated Switchgear up to 36 kV (SIS), and Gas Insulated Switchgears (GIS).
Since the establishment of TTDI, we have proceeded with technical transfer of Toshiba’s key products, and we have added GIS and SIS to our product line up and have started to manufacture them. With this development, we will contribute to the growth of industries FOR THE NEXT INDIA.
Q2. Since its inception, how has TTDI boosted its production capacity and expanded its product line up?
In line with our ‘Make in India and Export from India’ commitment, we made a 3-billion Yen investment (approx. US$30-million) in 2016. We boosted production capacity for transformers by 50% by setting up a new manufacturing line for Ultra High Voltage transformers up to 1200 kV and improving manufacturing and operational efficiency of distribution transformers. In the field of switchgears also, we established a new line for production of Gas Insulated Switchgears (GIS) and Solid Insulated Switchgears (SIS). This expansion allowed TTDI to meet the growing demand in India and in countries across the world.
We seek to expand our business through full-scale operations and provide cost-competitive products by localizing procurement, design and manufacturing within India. In our endeavour to improve quality and productivity through technology transfers from Japan and continuous Kaizen (improvement) activity, we have manufactured amorphous core distribution transformers that can limit transmission losses at a low load factor contributing to efficient power transmission.
Apart from T&D segment, TTDI also established a new production facility for electrical equipment for railway systems to foster the railway transport infrastructure in India. This facility will manufacture power conversion systems and train control systems that provide overall operation management.
Q3. What do you think are the challenges faced by the T&D sector in India? How has TTDI contributed to the solution through its business?
Some of the biggest challenges in India are deficiency in current transmission capacity due to losses from generation to distribution; delays in future transmission capacity addition; inefficient operation and maintenance in the existing system; and insufficient focus on new technology and innovation. Apart from that, there is limited availability of real estate and carbon footprint of the T&D solutions. India’s electricity losses during transmission and distribution (T&D) are more than 20%. Such severe electricity losses during the T&D process affect the country’s economic growth adversely, which is why India requires infusion of large amount of capital and modern technology into the Indian power T&D sector.
The government is focusing more on transmission and distribution sector especially in the SMART GRID and ultra high voltage segment. We believe ‘power saved is power generated’ and we are constantly undertaking our role in reducing the losses. Backed by Toshiba Group’s superior technology and lineage of over 100 years in T&D, TTDI aims to supply integrated solutions in the T&D sector by bringing in new technologies like Gas Insulated Switchgear, Solid Insulated Switchgear and Gas Insulated Transformers and solutions like underground substation installations that can be custom-engineered as per the project plan and requirement. Our systems effectively contribute to the T&D sector, in order to deliver reliable electricity from power plants to factories, transportation systems and even our homes.
Q4. What is TTDI’s strength and advantage compared to the competitors?
TTDI has a wide product portfolio, which includes small to large transformers, vacuum circuit breakers, compact substations, SIS and GIS. But our biggest strength is having an end-to-end manufacturing infrastructure. From product assembly, to fabrication, oil purification and conductor, most of the parts and materials are manufactured in our factory that make our products cost effective with greater quality control and also ensure quick delivery. Furthermore, last year we were awarded a major contract from Kenya Power & Lighting Company (KPLC) to supply approximately 8,000 distribution transformers as a result of quick delivery of approximately 4,000 distribution transformers within 6 months.
Another advanced offering from TTDI is the green Solid Insulated Switchgears technology that offers higher functionality and reliability, saving both space and long-term costs. SIS uses a new insulation material in place of the conventional SF6 gas and air to help prevent global warming. The new insulation material also offers better mechanical strength, toughness, heat resistance, and dielectric strength. The SIS is not only more reliable, compact and lightweight, but also low maintenance. All such products, that Toshiba offers are accredited internationally with Type Test Certificate for conformity to IEC standards and safety.
Our recent capacity expansion at the Hyderabad factory with US$-30 million has allowed us to expand the business further and provide cost-competitive products by localizing procurement, design and manufacturing within India. With TTDI’s full scale launch of a new line for Switchgears up to 800 kV, SIS/GIS will mitigate the current land availability issue, which is one of the biggest challenges in the T&D segment.
Q5. In India, Toshiba has led ‘Make in India’ initiative in power sector through thermal power systems and T&D. How do you describe the next strategy to expand its business not only in India but also overseas?
With an aim to ‘Make in India and Export from India’, Toshiba has established India as a hub for its manufacturing operations and export base. We have reinforced our Power businesses in India with robust capacity expansion and growth strategy to cater to both domestic demand and export market.
Expanding our business, we are focusing on overseas market besides India by collaborating with Toshiba Corporation and other Toshiba Group companies. In India, we aim to secure a 20% share of the T&D market in the coming years while simultaneously consolidating our exports to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Africa to achieve 50% of sales from exports by 2018.
TTDI has emerged as the global production hub of Toshiba’s T&D business to cater to product and component requirements across the world. Our endeavour to manufacture and supply superior quality products made in India has resulted in securing many overseas orders from Finland, Kenya, and Bangladesh. TTDI also signed a MoU with Kenya Power to help curb T&D losses in Kenya’s national grid. By manufacturing and supplying eco-friendly, world class and innovative products, we will export to global markets and contribute to the growth of industries FOR THE NEXT INDIA.