Will continue to focus on clean energy, EV charging infra: Fortum

"Our ambition and vision are tied to solar which is our main focus going ahead," shares Sanjay Aggarwal, Managing Director, Fortum India.

How Fortum’s business has scaled in last one year?
Fortum is a leading clean-energy company that provides its customers with electricity, heating and cooling as well as smart solutions to improve resource efficiency. This year (2019) has been great (for Fortum India) in terms of collaborations with some of the key stakeholders in the segment. In the electric vehicle (EV) segment, we have established India’s first public charging network of 50 KW DC chargers in partnership with MG Motor India. We have already witnessed an uptake in the adoption of EVs in the last one year through our existing charging network of 15/20 KW DC001 chargers. This collaboration will further bolster this growth. Today, we are operating 66 DC fast public charging points in Hyderabad and Mumbai sub-urban areas. While these DC charging points serve to 4-wheeler passenger cars, Fortum has also launched a battery swapping pilot project for 3-wheelers.

Fortum has taken another step towards building options for significant new businesses that improve resource efficiency and reduce the use of fossil raw materials and ingredients in a variety of industries. We have taken our first step by investing in India’s first commercial biorefinery (Numaligarh Refinery) in Assam. We have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with one of India’s leading universities, Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana Agricultural University (CCSHAU), to conduct research on paddy and paddy straw.

On another front, given that many countries including India already have a strict limit on the emission of nitrogen oxides, NOx reduction technologies are being widely deployed. Keeping this in mind, Fortum is bringing its own advanced time and cost-saving primary NOx reduction technology to India which will help India reach its sustainable goals. Taking this forward, Fortum signed its first commercial deal with Hindalco Industries Ltd this year, to provide NOx reduction technology in power plants through combustion modification on one of the 150 MW boilers located at the aluminium smelter unit in Mahan, Singrauli District, in Madhya Pradesh. The timeline for completion of this project is around February 2020.

Future roadmap
Our ambition and vision are tied to solar which is our main focus going ahead. Along with our financial partners, we should be able to install around 250-300 MW of solar per year. We will be happy with that level of growth. We have been successfully bidding for projects in solar parks and while we will continue doing that, we are willing to look at projects outside as well. We will also scout for business opportunities outside India.

Our new business venture, Bio2X, aims at more resource efficient use of biomass. Through Fortum’s fractionation technology, valuable end-products can be produced from biomass and used in place of fossil or other less sustainable raw materials.

For EVs, we believe that there will be many disruptions in the next decade. EV will completely change the face of mobility and it will create a huge impact on oil as a fuel. The way solar has emerged in the past decade, we believe EV adoption would follow the same pace.

Additionally, we provide services to reduce NOx in coal-based plants at the primary level. We are watching how the market and business evolve and we will take steps towards the same accordingly.