Schneider Electric drives ahead with mission to boost economy in India with purchase of Larsen & Toubro’s Electrical and Automation arm

After two years, Schneider Electric has completed their purchase of Larsen & Toubro’s Electrical & Automation business to drive forward their mission to boost economic growth in India.

L&T’s Electrical and Automation arm will be combined with Schneider Electric India’s Low Voltage and Industrial Automation Product business to create Schneider Electric India Private Limited (SEIPL).

“This major strategic move will make India, Schneider Electric’s third largest business in the world, and one of the four major global Schneider hubs for global R&D and manufacturing,” said Jean-Pascal Tricoire, the Chairman and CEO of Schneider Electric.

The new merged company will focus on the main priorities and initiatives of India, including Make in India for India and the rest of the world, Digital India, Skill India, Sustainable Energy, Smart Cities and Infrastructure for self-reliance.

Schneider Electric will have a 65% share in SEIPL, while global investment firm Temasek will own the remaining 35% stake in the company.

“We are also proud to partner with Temasek, who bring along their deep knowledge of India, and their coaching to help developing the export of the company,” added Mr. Tricoire.

More than 5,000 employees from L&T’s automation business will be integrated with over 2,000 Schneider Electric employees under the helm of the newly appointed CEO of SEIPL, Anil Chaudhry, the current Zone President and Managing Director for Schneider Electric India.

“Anil Chaudhry will lead the new entity as its CEO and bring his deep expertise in digitisation and electrification as well as his passion for the cause of digital solutions for efficiency and sustainability,” said Mr. Tricoire.

The team at SEIPL will go to market with their two distinct portfolio brands, sales teams and partner networks to achieve their vision of boosting India’s economic growth and supporting the Government’s mission to become a self-reliant nation.

Part of India’s initiative to achieve this is through ‘Make in India’, which looks to drive the country as a dominant innovation and manufacturing hub both locally and globally.

L&T’s Electrical and Automation business will continue to work with an ecosystem of partners covering more than 260 cities to produce its low and medium voltage switchgear, electrical systems, energy management, metering and industrial automation solutions at five manufacturing locations in India.

The significant and complex divestment all-cash sale of the Electrical and Automation arm was originally announced back in May 2018 at a price of US$191.6 million.

“The challenge was to carve out a business of this scale, with minimum disruption to the sprawling customer base and do it all amid the constraints of a pandemic,” said A.M. Naik, the Group Chairman of L&T.

L&T’s exit is part of a long-term strategy to focus on their Engineering Procurement Construction and Services business by using the proceeds for undetermined capital allocation decisions.

“This all-cash deal will help us create a much stronger balance sheet, thereby creating long-term value opportunities for our stakeholders by focusing on key aspects of business,” said S.N. Subrahmanyan, the CEO and Managing Director of Larsen & Toubro.

The sale is said to be one of L&T’s largest divestments so far in terms of value.

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What does the future hold for India’s data center market?

The need for data centers in India is growing exponentially, as data consumption by half a billion digital users is reaching unprecedented levels.

But how can you tap into this exciting market? And what is the best practice for data center operators and cloud service providers in the country?

Stay tuned for more fascinating webinars taking a deep dive into the data center and cloud markets in India!

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Schneider Electric to deliver innovative solutions for hyperscale data centers after expanding partnership with AVEVA

Innovative solutions are coming for hyperscale data centers after Schneider Electric and AVEVA expanded their partnership.

Announcements to develop hyperscale data centers is a frequent occurrence to meet worldwide demand for more data capacity and cloud adoption. But the complexity in operating at this scale and maintaining these facilities creates unprecedented challenges for hyperscale providers, which require different approaches to power the infrastructure.

This is where the new innovative solutions by Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, and AVEVA, the global leader in engineering and industrial software, will come into play.

Philippe Delorme, Executive Vice President of Energy Management at Schneider Electric, said: “At a time when the world’s digital infrastructure is being pushed to its limits, Schneider and AVEVA are delivering a comprehensive solution for hyperscale data centers to operate and maintain their critical environments.”

The solution will integrate Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure for Data Centers control and monitoring capabilities with AVEVA’s scalable industrial software to enable deep and expansive visibility of day-to-day operations.

Mr Delorme added: “The complete solution will deliver operational efficiency and a more reliable data center fleet.”

Digitally transforming legacy systems

The partnership looks to digitally transform legacy systems by connecting platforms and data sets that previously existed in disparate systems.

Craig Hayman, the CEO of AVEVA, said: “Our joint customers are empowered by the standardized systems and processes resulting in improved workforce efficiency across multiple sites and the entire enterprise.”

The solutions will achieve their aims by taking data that has long been managed at individual data centers and normalising it across multiple sites to inform and provide enterprise level IT/OT/IoT integration that delivers real-time decision making.

Ultimately, the innovations hope to empower data center staff to feel empowered in making faster and more informed decisions as well as optimising assets and operational efficiency by enabling facilities to scale regardless of number of sites or global location.

The hyperscale market is powering up, as Equinix also recently announced they would build three hyperscale data centers in Japan after the data center provider signed a US$1 billion agreement with GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.

Schneider Electric to deliver innovative solutions for hyperscale data centers after expanding partnership with AVEVA

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Stuart Crowley

Editor, W.Media

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Advanced UPS battery system launched by South Korea’s Kokam

A new advanced battery system for Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) has been launched by South Korea’s Kokam.

The battery system is designed to support mission-critical facilities like data centers where seamlessly switching to full backup power supplies during power outages is crucial.

“With data center growth and grid instability, the UPS battery market is experiencing considerable expansion,” said Ike Hong, the President of Kokam.

The advanced solution uses innovative cell technology to achieve higher energy density and an increased power output of 8 C-rate.

“The launch of our new advanced battery system for the UPS battery market is aimed to provide a cost-effective and advanced solution to address the current grid stability challenges,” added Mr. Hong.

Kokam's new UPS battery system
Kokam’s new UPS battery system

With up to a 46% smaller footprint and 20% lighter design compared to traditional lead-acid systems, the new UPS battery is said to decrease total cost of ownership, which is already up to 40% less than conventional systems.

The South Korea-based lithium-ion battery and integrated energy solution provider was acquired by SolarEdge, a global leader in smart energy technology, in 2018. Since then, Kokam was awarded contracts to supply 40 MWh of energy storage systems in South Korea.

The country’s Government is giving incentives for the wide-spread installation of energy storage systems, as they plan to generate 35% of its power from renewable sources by 2040.

Explore the state of South Korea’s cloud and data center market with W.Media

As one of the most innovative countries in the world, South Korea has exciting cloud and data center markets. But will the country continue to be a shining star in the next five years?

Register now to find out by joining W.Media’s action-packed  South Korea Cloud & Datacenter Digital Summit on Wednesday 11 November!

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Delta Electronics tackles the unique challenges of powering mature and emerging data center markets in Southeast Asia

The task of powering data centers is no easy feat, especially when each country brings its unique infrastructure challenges. Any downtime for data centers can be incredibly costly, and this risk is continuously increasing with more industries becoming reliant on data centers.

Within this context, Delta Electronics, a leading global provider of power management solutions, identifies and tackles the unique challenges of powering data centers in emerging markets like the Philippines and more mature markets like Singapore with tailored solutions fitted to each environment.

Reliably empowering data center growth in the Philippines

Emerging markets like the Philippines fuel Southeast Asia’s data center construction market growth with companies such as Globe Telecom, the Philippine Land Transportation Office and PLDT expanding their networks in the country.

The Philippines has a population of over 100.7 million, with 41 Internet users per 100 and rising. It is also ranked #34 for data center density.

But to enable sustainable growth, data centers in the Philippines must have reliable power in a country where natural disasters and political controversies pose great risks for power suppliers.

“Power qualities in areas outside of Metropolitan Manila are not as reliable. Voltage spikes and sags as well as routine power outages are still common for some areas,” said Jimmy Wan, Country Sales Director for Delta Electronics.

Manila has a connectivity ecosystem made up of 18 colocation data centers and 23 cloud service providers, but even last year Luzon’s grid was on red alert.

“Almost the entire country will only have one grid, unlike most countries where any particular area may have two or more power supplies. This means that power ratings of three or four are not completely possible in the Philippines,” added Mr. Wan.

As an archipelago of over 7,000 islands, the rest of the Philippines also has logistical issues with deployment of power solutions and post-sale services. To overcome these challenges, Delta Electronics has service partners that cover the country to deliver services similar to the level in Metro areas.

Another challenge affecting the country is the fact that many small and medium-sized data centers are still on a baseline N deployment with no ability for redundancy. This means a component is not backed up by a duplicate in the event of failure. Medium and larger sized data centers more commonly have N+1 redundancy for UPS deployment.

Mr. Wan said: “A lot of data centers in the Philippines are still using comfort cooling systems like traditional air conditioning instead of precision cooling to maintain the climate inside their data centers.”

The lack of precision cooling in the country may be due to the Philippines typically running at 60Hz frequency, as many compressors and cooling units generally run at 50Hz.

On top of this, the Philippines also has the unique scenario of varying voltages, with 230V, 380V and 460V three-phase voltages depending on the area of the archipelago you live in. Typically, older buildings run at 230V and industrial areas run at 460V, while newer buildings have a 380 voltage.

“This poses a challenge for equipment suppliers, as the majority of demand is in 380V/3ph. Manufacturing in the other voltages are on a per order basis with longer lead times,” said Mr. Wan.

To solve this problem, Delta Electronics adapted to the rest of the market by making use of transformers for three-phase uninterruptible power supply solutions.

Mr. Wan added: “We have many manufacturing plants worldwide and in Southeast Asia, so we can supply our products on time to many markets.”

Delta Electronics has noticed that the Philippines market is adapting to not only reliable, but also efficient power usage.

Mr. Wan celebrated: “The market is understanding now that it is not only important to have continuous power and cooling, but also to do it efficiently by not wasting power.”

Energising Singapore’s land sparse, humid, mature data center market

Singapore is the third most robust data center market in the world and has the most mature market of any country in Southeast Asia, but it is still growing with new constructions from Equinix, Digital Realty, Keppel Data Centres and Facebook as well as cloud providers like AWS, Google, Microsoft and IBM.

Singapore is a great place to set up a data center with low risk of natural disasters, strong network connectivity, a stable political system and a geographically strategic location as a gateway connecting neighbouring Asian countries.

While the high heat and tropical climate in Singapore may seem like paradise for vacationers, it is less than desirable for data centers, as cooling systems have to work harder and consume more power to keep the facility at an optimum temperature.

This is not ideal since data centers already consume an extraordinary amount of power in a time when Singapore is looking to achieve energy efficiency and reduce emissions with carbon taxes and Green Data Centre Standards.

To this end, Delta Electronics endeavors to ‘remain committed to the research and development of innovative, energy-saving products, solutions and services that substantially contribute to the sustainable development of mankind’.

Mr. Wan said: “Our solutions are tailor-fitted to our environment and are designed to resolve our challenges. Our products are driven by global trends, scalability, efficiency and sustainability.”

Delta Electronics, with headquarters based in Taiwan, recently celebrated achieving a TIER III-Ready Award by Uptime Institute for their Point of Delivery data center solution, recognising its energy efficiency and power reliability.

Mr. Wan added: “To amend power quality, the market usually oversizes their equipment or makes use of other power quality equipment to amend these issues like power filters.”

In a land sparse country like Singapore where space is becoming increasingly valuable, Delta Electronic’s POD solution along with their Micro Data Center and Containerized Data Center solutions allow for small, medium and large enterprises to take advantage of efficient and future-proof solutions.

“Delta is unique as it is the only top data center vendor that has its headquarters in Asia. Most vendors are either European or American,” said Mr. Wan.

Delta Electronics also recently helped HTC-ITC, a subsidiary of Hanoi Telecom, to build a TIER III Uptime certified data center in Vietnam.

With the right power solutions, an emerging market could grow into a more mature market and compete at a global scale, ultimately providing societies with greater connectivity and efficiency that can power up local and worldwide digital economies.

> Discover Delta Electronics’ empowering solutions

By Stuart Crowley, Editor, W.Media

Keppel and Mitsubishi Heavy to explore hydrogen-powered data center concept in Singapore

Keppel Data Centres and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries are set to explore how hydrogen-powered data centers can accelerate Singapore’s journey towards a more sustainable energy future.

The two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding to study how hydrogen-powered tri-generation plant-supported data centers can meet expanding needs of the digital economy.

Mr Wong Wai Meng, Chief Executive Officer of Keppel Data Centres, said: “The exploration of hydrogen infrastructure is part of our strategy to work towards decarbonisation.”

Hydrogen as an energy source has the potential to be more environmentally friendly when it is burned because it does not produce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Hydrogen will be a key energy carrier in the global effort towards decarbonisation,” said Mr Yoshiyuki Hanasawa, Executive Vice President and Chief Regional Officer for Asia Pacific and India at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Group and Managing Director of MHI-AP.

A tri-generation plant works by producing heat, power and cooling, supporting data centers to access the electricity as well as the chilled water produced by the plant to cool the facility. By tapping on the electricity provided by the plant, a data center relies less on the national grid.

Keppel Data Centres and Mitsubishi Heavy will look to produce hydrogen fuel for the plant through a steam methane reforming process that is carbon neutral by incorporating carbon capture and storage capabilities.

“With Singapore set to become a global data centre hub, we look forward to partnering with Keppel Data Centres to support Singapore in creating a sustainable energy future,” said Mr Hanasawa.

One of the projects that might benefit from the hydrogen-powered tri-generation plant concept is the Floating Data Centre Park project in Singapore that Keppel Data Centres is currently pursuing (pictured above).

Keppel Data Centres partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy is well timed, as Singapore is aiming to improve its environmental impact by introducing Green Data Centre Standards, a carbon tax at a rate of $5 for every tonne of greenhouse gas emissions, and a committal to ensure at least 80% of its buildings will be green by 2030.

As Singapore looks to continue in its digitalisation efforts and boost the digital economy, sustainable data center infrastructures will be essential in empowering this. 

Schneider Electric to deliver innovative solutions for hyperscale data centers after expanding partnership with AVEVA

Innovative solutions are coming for hyperscale data centers after Schneider Electric and AVEVA expanded their partnership.

Announcements to develop hyperscale data centers is a frequent occurrence to meet worldwide demand for more data capacity and cloud adoption. But the complexity in operating at this scale and maintaining these facilities creates unprecedented challenges for hyperscale providers, which require different approaches to power the infrastructure.

This is where the new innovative solutions by Schneider Electric, the leader in digital transformation of energy management and automation, and AVEVA, the global leader in engineering and industrial software, will come into play.

Philippe Delorme, Executive Vice President of Energy Management at Schneider Electric, said: “At a time when the world’s digital infrastructure is being pushed to its limits, Schneider and AVEVA are delivering a comprehensive solution for hyperscale data centers to operate and maintain their critical environments.”

The solution will integrate Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure for Data Centers control and monitoring capabilities with AVEVA’s scalable industrial software to enable deep and expansive visibility of day-to-day operations.

Mr Delorme added: “The complete solution will deliver operational efficiency and a more reliable data center fleet.”

Digitally transforming legacy systems

The partnership looks to digitally transform legacy systems by connecting platforms and data sets that previously existed in disparate systems.

Craig Hayman, the CEO of AVEVA, said: “Our joint customers are empowered by the standardized systems and processes resulting in improved workforce efficiency across multiple sites and the entire enterprise.”

The solutions will achieve their aims by taking data that has long been managed at individual data centers and normalising it across multiple sites to inform and provide enterprise level IT/OT/IoT integration that delivers real-time decision making.

Ultimately, the innovations hope to empower data center staff to feel empowered in making faster and more informed decisions as well as optimising assets and operational efficiency by enabling facilities to scale regardless of number of sites or global location.

The hyperscale market is powering up, as Equinix also recently announced they would build three hyperscale data centers in Japan after the data center provider signed a US$1 billion agreement with GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.