Jinal Mehta

Torrent Group has scaled new heights marked by new forays and noticeable milestones in the past years. Torrent Power‘s MD, Jinal Mehta shares the business philosophy and the Group’s vision in an exclusive interaction with Abhineet Kumar & Parth Asthana of Elets News Networks (ENN). Edited excerpts:

What are the business areas of Torrent Group and as you move on the growth path, what do you identify as the group’s key strengths?

Torrent Group has diversified operations with group revenues of Rs. 37,600 crore (approx. USD 4.5 billion) having a focus on the Health and Energy Sector. In Health, we have a presence in pharma, whereas, in Energy, our presence is in the entire power value chain of generation, transmission, distribution, and city gas distribution.

Our key strengths are our Group’s core values that ensure value for stakeholders with sustainability. These values – laid down by our founder, are the pillars on which Torrent builds its future. With these core values i.e. Integrity, Passion for Excellence, Participative Decision Making, Concern for Society & Environment, Fairness with Care, and Transparency, we have transformed ourselves from a humble startup fifty years ago, into a globallyrespected diversified business organisation.

What strategies has Torrent Power implemented to navigate the evolving energy landscape, especially considering the increasing focus on renewable energy sources and sustainability?

Torrent has identified renewable energy (RE) based generation as the sustainable growth driver for its power business. Currently, out of its total portfolio of 4.27 GW, 1.2 GW is renewables. It is systematically increasing the share of RE in its generation portfolio. About 1 GW of RE is under execution and another 4 GW is in the pipeline with a target to increase its RE capacity to 5 GW in the next 3-4 years. In addition to increasing its RE capacity, it is also working on Green Hydrogen and Pump Storage Hydro projects.

With the global push towards decarbonization, how is Torrent Power working towards reducing its carbon footprint and promoting cleaner energy alternatives in its operations?

Torrent Power strives to adopt green and sustainable practices in its operations and services and has taken several measures to reduce its carbon footprint including increasing its share of RE in its generation portfolio, reducing T&D losses in all its distribution units, zero liquid discharge at all the generation plants to minimise water consumption, 100% of fly ash utilisation, multiple tree plantations drives with approx. 6 lakh trees already been planted.

How does Torrent Power plan to address the challenges and opportunities posed by advancements in technology, such as smart grids and digitalization, in the power distribution sector?

Torrent has supplied about 28 BU to its 4 Mn Consumers during FY 23. In our endeavour to achieve passion for excellence in distribution, we have adopted new technologies in our operations. Torrent Power already possesses the wherewithal in terms of IT and communication systems to implement Smart Grid in its license areas. Torrent has a critical advantage in terms of end-to-end SCADA connectivity along with AMR metering for high value consumers and distribution automation. We have implemented various interventions of automation, communication & IT systems to monitor, measure, and control power flows in real-time, and identify losses. This has helped us to achieve a distribution loss of 2.62% for its license business for FY 2022-23; which is one of the lowest across the country and comparable to global benchmarks.

In the context of changing regulatory frameworks and policies in the energy sector, what initiatives is Torrent Power undertaking to ensure compliance and adaptability to these changes?

In the recent past, the Ministry of Power has notified various forward-looking rules and notifications for the power sector such as rights of consumers, changes in law, late payment surcharge, etc. To ensure compliance and adaptability, Torrent has initiated a deep dive into the existing systems to ensure readiness to adapt to these changes and ensure prompt and responsive customer services while ensuring adherence to all regulatory requirements. Torrent is also ensuring sufficient capacity building of its manpower to not just meet but excel at the benchmarks set by the Ministry.

How does Torrent Power plan to enhance its energy infrastructure resilience, considering the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and the potential impacts of climate change on the power sector?

Torrent has at the start of its journey in the power sector identified the critical need for undergrounding of distribution networks to safeguard the same from extreme weather events and frequent disruptions. In turn, Torrent has created a majority underground network along with compact distribution substations across its distribution segment. Further, for extra high voltage networks where undergrounding is technically and financially challenging, Torrent has installed galvanised lattice and monopole towers having smaller footprints thereby minimising risks from the impacts of climate change.


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