Established in 1994, Transformers & Rectifiers (India) Ltd, popularly referred to as T&R or TRIL, is a leading Indian transformer manufacturer having a wide product range. It is also a leading exporters, catering even to developed countries. Jitendra Mamtora, Chairman, Transformers & Rectifiers (India) Ltd, in this exclusive exchange with T&D India, reviews the recent performance of T&R, apart from sharing insights on industry-related issues. Mamtora feels that T&R, having supplied over 30 power transformers of 765kV rating, is emerging as a quality and reliable supplier.
We understand that FY18 was very significant for TRIL having clocked over 22,700 MVA of transformer production. What is your outlook for FY19?
We expect FY19 to be on similar lines. In FY18, we had large number of 500 MVA jobs for execution which included 14 nos. 765kV transformers for PGCIL in addition to a large number of 400kV jobs.
However the offtake and new tender from Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL) for 765kV has come down substantially due to which there is a possibility of MVA coming down. However, 220kV and 132kV has picked up, which means that we will improve on top line in value terms but MVA may remain same or come down a bit.
We also learn that the Uttar Pradesh state transmission utility has placed significant orders on TRIL. Tell us more. Do you count on UP Transco as a major customer in the near future as well?
Yes especially with the new Uttar Pradesh state government in place we see lot of activities and investment to improve transmission & distribution network. Consequent to this, there is good potential in the immediate and medium term. We are fully geared and equipped to exploit the same.
What is the total manufacturing capacity of TRIL across its three manufacturing units—Moraiya, Changodhar and Odhav? Do you envisage any capacity expansion in the medium term?
Manufacturing capacity in the transformer industry is a very relative term and largely depends on product mix and the even flowing of orders. Even cash flow management of our major customers has direct impact on our output. Owing to RBI tightening of banking system we have seen considerable delay in lifting of ready jobs by private customers and EPC contractors, which directly limits capacity. The total capacity all the three plants of TRIL put together is about 36,000 MVA. We still have un-utilized capacity hence there is no plan for expansion of capacity in immediate term.
The ultra-modern Moraiya unit, as we understand, has capabilities of production and testing of 765kV transformers. How has TRIL performed with respect to 765kV transformers?
TRIL has done well in establishing itself as one of the regular quality sustainable suppliers of 765kV transformers, and has supplied till date over 34 nos. of such transformers.
We understand that TRIL would is now eligible for supplying 765kV reactors to Power Grid Corporation of India.
Yes, TRIL is the only Indian company as on date to qualify on its own for both 765kV transformers as well as reactors with PGCIL as well as other utilities. This gives us competitive advantage as well as flexibility to take orders to ensure optimum utilization of our manufacturing capacity and balance our top and bottom line.
What is the current status of your technical collaboration with ZTR?
The technical collaboration with ZTR is over and our technical and manufacturing team has done excellent work in absorbing technology very well. Recent order executed by us for 14 nos. of 765kV 500 MVA jobs for PGCIL was without any participation from ZTR.
Are you planning to associate with any other technology partners?
We have no plans for going for any further technology partners for transformers at present.
These days, there is an effort to produce “green” transformers using ester oil. Has TRIL taken any steps in this direction?
TRIL is one of very few companies in India as well as worldwide to have taken initiative in green transformers. We have started manufacturing transformers using ester fluid about 3-4 years back and have executed largest number of transformers in India in power transformer segment with ester fluid for voltage up to 145kV class.
Tell us in brief about TRIL’s export business in recent times. Was there a special reason for an apparent decline in exports in FY18, over FY17?
In FY17, we had one single large order for export of about 300 transformers. In FY18, we could make major breakthrough in exports in new market for large rating power transformers as well as some of electric arc furnace transformers. We would see volume going up in coming years with these orders as a base.
Speaking of industry-related issues, we understand that it is now mandatory for all global CRGO steel suppliers to get BIS certification. What is your overall view on the subject? Do you feel that the willful use of scrap CRGO by Indian companies has reduced?
This trend is largely prevalent in distribution market segments which are mainly catering to discoms. We are mainly into power transformers of medium and large ratings, special transformers where we ensure quality of materials – with or without BIS. In fact it is our opinion that by insisting to go for BIS certification, mills have taken advantage of the same by creating artificial shortage thereby increasing price for the same quality of materials.
After the commissioning of National High Power Test Laboratory, do you think that the dependence on foreign testing labs has reduced or will reduce, especially for testing of EHV transformers?
We have to still wait and see how efficiently this lab works and its acceptability in the world market. As of now, this lab is also largely dependent on CPRI for its operations and its charges are at par with foreign labs despite the very low acceptability. This is a deterrent for manufacturers to try this lab. There is no incentive either in terms of charges or in terms of acceptability.
Your Moraiya plant is rated as amongst the finest in the world. What further modernization have you envisaged at Moraiya?
Our Moraiya plant started operations in 2009. Modernization is an ongoing process as we go adding or expanding our product range and reach with large rating of transformers for world markets.