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Logistics

APM Terminals Inland Services SA offers one-stop solution for solar power projects

July 03, 2018: APM Terminals Inland Services, South Asia is offering an end-to-end solution of global standards for major projects in solar power. The company, alone in 2018 will help more than 52.5 lakh acres of land to be converted into a solar farm.

The country imports more than 80-90% of solar panels, mostly from China
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The country imports more than 80-90% of solar panels, mostly from China

July 03, 2018: APM Terminals Inland Services, South Asia is offering an end-to-end solution of global standards for major projects in solar power. The company, alone in 2018 will help more than 52.5 lakh acres of land to be converted into a solar farm.

The one-stop solution offered by APM Terminals Inland Services includes a big range from receiving cargo at the sea-port to enabling customs inspection and clearance, Container Freight Stations (CFSs), Inland Container Depots (ICDs), multi-modal transportation (road and rail) and finally, destuffing at the site. The fact that they own most of the infrastructure (CFS, ICD, Container service facility, truck trailers etc.) provides them more customization, reliability and control in the supply chain. They have been the front runners for multiple large solar developers and EPC players in the country.

“Back in 2015, solar power was just beginning to catch everybody’s attention and imports from China were picking up at a tremendous pace. Till date, we have handled more than 15 large projects of most of the leading solar players, covering over 10,500 acres of land. The pipeline for the rest half of the year looks promising. We realised that the solar sector players needed a trusted logistics partner capable of understanding and addressing business complexities. We then developed tailor-made solutions that relieved customer from hassle, technicalities and legalities,” explained Ajit Venkataraman, MD, APM Terminals Inland Services, South Asia.

India faces a challenging task when aiming to get four times the current installed solar capacity within the next four years. It needs to concentrate all available resources, infrastructure and services on achieving the target. The country imports more than 80-90 percent of solar panels, mostly from China. Aiming at reducing costs and making deadlines, it is crucial to guarantee that the transportation and allied activities between the point of origin and the point of destination goes as smoothly and eventless as possible both at sea and across the hinterlands of India. The journey is not just long, but difficult and it requires the right expertise. Logistics and supply chain are the backbone of such projects and are critical for India to envision the 100 GW mark by 2022.

Speaking on the biggest challenge, Venkataraman stated, “It is about reaching the destination especially when there are no or bad roads. For instance, one of the recent installation sites is in Rajasthan across the Thar desert.” Another project that they are working on for a multinational solar investor along with its EPC is linking Central India and the East Coast by rail. This is a first-of-its kind, since the norm has been access from the west coast of India.

In addition, another added value of the services provided by APM Terminals Inland Services is the visibility on project status. The time gap between shipping the solar panels to delivering them at the installation site can be long and thus negatively impact costs. They have designed solutions for customers to ensure cost maintenance over the average project period of 4 to 6 months, saving them from cost escalations except in uncontrollable situations like volatile crude prices, environment factors etc.

APM Terminals Inland Services have made solar deliveries across states like Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, other regions in Central India and even in-between Thar dessert. These deliveries have been taken and solar panels handled from the ports of Chennai, Mundra, Vizag and Krishnapatnam.

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