Devin Narang is the scion of one of the oldest and most reputed industrial families in India. The Narang Group was founded in 1908 by Dr. Sir Gokul Chand Narang, with interests in Sugar, Distilling, Brewing, Banking and Insurance. Mr. Narang managed the Group’s Distilling and Brewing businesses. He has been the Chairman of ‘SABMiller India Limited’ – one of the world’s leading Beer manufacturers.

Mr. Narang found an interest in Renewable Energy and is now the Managing Director of Sindicatum Sustainable Resources. Additionally, he is the Non-Executive Chairman of Indian operations for Turner & Townsend Pvt. Ltd. – U.K’s largest project management company.

He is a member of the National Executive Committee of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and an active participant of Young Presidents’ Organization.

Sachi Mulmi (SM), researcher with Frost & Sullivan, had an opportunity to conduct a Movers & Shakers interview with Devin Narang (DN) – Managing Director of Sindicatum Sustainable Resources.

SM: What is the unique value proposition of your company, and what are your key competitive differentiators?

DN: Sindicatum Renewable Energy Company Pte. Ltd (Singapore) (SREC) develops, owns, and operates clean energy projects in South and Southeast Asia. At the core of SREC’s track record is the proven ability to identify, develop, invest, finance, and operate small-scale renewable energy projects in these target markets. We operate a proven business model meeting the highest standards of sustainability, governance, and ethical investing, with a strong emphasis on health and safety.

A significant proportion of the build out of renewable energy capacity in these markets comprises distributed energy assets (ranging 5-80 MW). Such projects require a substantial knowledge of a country’s social and economic fabric, and the ability to operate in difficult environments involving local counterparties in order to be cost effective. SREC has developed and financed 17 renewable energy projects – which stand testimony to its prowess. A key feature of each of SREC’s projects is a secure supply of fuel which ensures its projects are not constrained by their ability to generate power or exposed to fuel price risk.

Furthermore, SREC is preparing to expand its asset base with the addition of a number of development projects in Southeast Asia and India.

SM: What do you want the company to accomplish in the next couple of years and how would you define success for it?

DN: To state our vision – “Sindicatum Renewable Energy aims to develop, own and operate 2000MW of distributed, profitable, clean energy assets in Asia across four principal technologies: Utility scale Solar PV, Bagasse co-generation, Wind and Waste to energy.” This defines success for us. Having added about 150MW of good quality assets to our portfolio in India alone – along with a sizeable capacity in the pipeline, we are pacing steadily towards realising it.

SM: Which consumer trends do you consider the most relevant for the biomass/waste-to-power industry and how are you addressing them?

DN: Considering the setup of the Indian Industry and Power sector, the potential in renewable energy – in this case biomass and waste-to-power projects- can be realised best by matching the generation with the demand of Commercial & Industrial Consumers. Their immediate power consumption, sustained availability of fuel onsite, and guaranteed, timely payments makes them ideal consumers. Additionally, feed-in-tariffs offered for renewable power – against the existing prices – render such projects a win-win proposition for both stakeholders.

To this end, we operate our Bagasse cogeneration projects on a Joint Venture model with credible Sugar Mills in fuel rich regions. ‘Cogeneration’ is the simultaneous production of heat and power from a common fuel. Bagasse (i.e., sugarcane waste from the sugar production process) cogeneration enables sustainable and profitable utilisation of Industrial waste as fuel, for producing process heat and clean power for the Sugar Mills.

SM: What are the future trends of this industry that are related to technology, legislation, and customer demand?

DN: Technology: All the key equipment (including boilers, turbines) necessary for Bagasse Cogeneration are now manufactured and serviced in India. With ‘Make in India’ paving the way, I see the best of global equipment, technology and resources coming to India in the years to come.

Legislation: Speaking for India, the Government has been a major driving force for growth and capacity addition of renewable energy projects. Under Vision 2022, it has set a target of 10GW of installed biomass capacity – out of which 175GW is to be generated from renewable energy. The Government, in keeping with its vision, provides financial assistance and fiscal incentives at present. I see a greater push coming towards development of Biomass and Cogeneration projects.

Customer Demand: The demand in India is insatiable. As the GDP grows, the demand for power shall too – whether produced from fossil fuels or renewable sources.

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