Managing Director's Message

While the sector faces challenges as it transitions to a cleaner energy mix, supportive national policies are being put in place. Sembcorp has emerged as a credible player in India, establishing a strong track record of delivering on its commitments

Vipul Tuli
Managing Director

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Dear Shareholders,

The fiscal year 2018-19 was another year of improved overall performance at Sembcorp Energy India limited (SEIL). In this year, we achieved positive Profit After Tax (PAT) of H 1,275 million and cash PAT of H 13,174 million. Our balanced and integrated renewable and thermal portfolio positions us among the leading companies in the power industry, focussed on growing a clean energy portfolio.

Following our corporate reorganisation lastyear, unifying SEIL’s thermal and renewable facilities to be owned under a single entity, we set clear objectives and now continue to build on business growth with greater sustainability, efficiency, profitability and a lower risk portfolio.

Positive changes for the sector

The government’s commitment to connect every household with power, thrust on electrification of mobility and provide uninterrupted power supply will give an impetus to demand growth. The underlying increase in generation capacity and a unified stable national grid will further lead to intensive electrification.

India’s sectoral reforms across the power valuechain are bringing about changes in the industry. Initiatives like Power for All, UDAY, SAUBHAGYA and SHAKTI among others are steps in the right direction.

The shift towards an increased renewable energy portfolio is a fundamental change in the energy market, driven by the need to preserve the ecosystem and generate energy at lower cost. The introduction of transparent competitive bidding in the renewable energy space has led to several players adding green energy to their portfolio. Your company has emerged as one of the leading players in this segment.

Despite relatively slower progress in thermal power capacity addition, there are silver linings. While delays in implementing long-pending projects and retirement of old thermal plants continued to be of concern for the sector, the much-awaited return of the medium and longterm power procurement bids are a welcome move. The next phase of power reforms, including the proposed changes in the tariff policy and the Electricity Act, and the recent signing of MoU between NTPC and PGCIL to form a National Electricity Distribution Company (NEDCL), should further accelerate the process.

Thermal power plants in India have been mandated with strict emission norms which necessitate installation of new emissions control equipment like Flue Gas Desulfurizers. While deliberations around the recovery of capital expenditure to meet the environmental norms are yet to be fully concluded, I remain confident that the government and the industry together will arrive at a solution which will enable adoption of technologies that aid in generating cleaner power; and offer flexible demand response management with peak-demand power supply.

The financial health of discoms continue to be a challenge affecting collection of receivables. The issue is recognised and policy interventions are underway to address the same. The recent directive by the central government to enforce payment security mechanism by discoms, as well as the push to ensure the must run status for renewables, are examples of such steps.

Renewables integration and management of intermittency are emerging as challenges as well as opportunities. With renewable energy (RE) generating more than 10% of power soon, the full cost of RE will need to be absorbed by all stakeholders. This will create opportunities for Sembcorp with our balanced portfolio mix.

Enhancing performance with sustainable operations

With an aim to leverage the synergies within the thermal and renewable energy portfolios, our corporate reorganisation last year optimised our operations for a more efficient and sustainable performance.

In FY 2018-19, our consolidated revenue from operations increased by 12% to H 88,666.86 million in FY 2018-19 from H 79,147.51 million in FY 2017-18. Our consolidated EBIDTA grew 23% YoY basis to H 32,531.11 million and PAT registered was H 1,275.20 million in the current year. We continued to efficiently manage our debt portfolio, thereby leading to improved performance ratios.

We maintained our focus on achieving commercially and technically sustainable operations and achieved some important milestones during the year. Some of these include:

Thermal
  • The thermal business secured power purchase agreements for the supply of 250MW to Bangladesh for a total period of approximately 15 years, under which supply of power commenced in February 2019. With this, we now have a total of 1320 MW capacity from thermal business under longterm PPAs.
  • We leveraged the coastal location of our thermal plants to source for cost-effective imported coal supply through a mix of long and short-term contracts. During the year, we seamlessly handled 9.77 MT of coal.
  • We further achieved cost efficiencies through forex hedging, prudent commodity management and low logistic and shipping charges.
  • Completion of merger of our wholly owned subsidiary SGPL into SEIL, resulting in better operational synergies and financials.

122%

YoY growth in PAT in FY 2018-19

Renewable
  • Commissioned India’s first Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) 1 wind project of 250MW in Tamil Nadu ahead of schedule. This was the first ever project to be built in India under the new system of competitive bidding.
  • We made significant progress on our SECI II and III projects of 550 MW.
  • During the year we applied our operations & maintenance (O&M) experience, processes and digital platforms to optimise our renewable power generation, and brought more than 600MW of renewable assets under self-O&M. With this we have around 3,300MW of renewable and thermal capacity in India under self-O&M.
  • Completion of merger of our wholly owned subsidiary SGPL into SEIL, resulting in better operational synergies and financials.

~15

Years of contract to supply power to the citizens of Bangladesh

  • SEIL Green Infra successfully raised its maiden bond of H10 Bn. It was subscribed by mutual funds for tenure of 5 years.

600 MW

Renewable capacity brought under self- O&M

Our efforts in building an integrated entity with a balanced energy portfolio are now taking shape. With our operational excellence driving our financial performance, we intend to deliver consistent and quality energy solutions and create value for our stakeholders.

Strategies for sustaining growth

In a competitive industry like ours, we continue to adapt to address changes in technology adoption, rising energy demands and evolving regulatory framework. To keep pace, it is vital for us to continuously review our strategies to adapt to these changes and sustain future growth. Our supercritical thermal power plants are industry-leading facilities, with high plant load factors (PLFs), which are among the highest in the sector. Our in-house operations and maintenance ensure higher throughput and better margins in the renewable portfolio too.

Moving into cross-border energy supply, our second thermal plant supplying power to Bangladesh demonstrates our competence in the sector and the strong value proposition we offer to customers in India and the region.

Our balanced portfolio provides us with an edge in capturing the growing energy demand in India and contribute to a sustainable future.

Health, safety and the environment

Along with operational efficiencies, we prioritise our HSE practices diligently. We are committed to ensuring the safety of our employees and contributing to the communities and environment we operate in. Although we continuously maintain a focus on safety, I regret to inform you that during the year, we suffered two fatalities involving our contractors. We will continue to work towards achieving zero fatalities. We have initiated a Behaviour- Based Safety (BBS) Observation Programme into our safety systems across all our assets. The programme focuses on cultivating an organisational culture where safety is everybody’s responsibility, through affirming positive safety behaviour and encouraging corrective actions. This initiative enables us to strengthen our safety culture and bring about positive behavioural change in our employees.

During the year under review, we undertook many programmes to ensure safety at workplace for our employees, contractors, visitors and customers. These initiatives are proactively aimed at bringing about progressive improvement in our health and safety performance.

In our continued efforts to balance sustainable energy generation and environmental concerns, we focused on ensuring the highest standards of environmental management in our operational areas. We continued to work towards reducing carbon emissions and optimised our operations to help mitigate environmental risks while contributing to a sustainable future.

Outlook

With the power sector landscape strengthening, backed by sustained economic growth, SEIL will continue to review its strategies and strengthen its market position. The power sector has witnessed a transition in the last two decades, with structural and regulatory policies across the value-chain providing the necessary impetus for growth. With ambitious targets of power generation in renewable sector and transformation of thermal plants into environmentally-friendly generation, the country’s power infrastructure is set to witness a marked change.

Having established capacities, capabilities, Sembcorp India is well positioned to continue on its steep trajectory of performance improvement.

Our completion of the SECI-1 project and improving profitability summarises our ability to provide energy security to the people of India at competitive rates.

Acknowledgements

In conclusion, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our customers and partners for their continued trust and cooperation. Our employees remain key to our business success with their efficient work and commitment to our business goals. I would like to thank my management team, our Board of Directors and our promoters for their constant support and guidance. I am confident that our results of the current year will be a strong foundation for our sustainable growth in the coming years as we continue our mission of delivering reliable and efficient energy solutions to millions of people in India.

Vipul Tuli
Managing Director