Alstom Harnessing Hydropower Potential in India in EUR35 Million Contract
Alstom T&D India has been awarded a contract worth approximately €35 million by Himachal Pradesh Power Transmission Corporation Limited (HPPTCL) to supply a 66 kV gas-insulated substation (GIS) in Urni, Himachal Pradesh, in northern India.
The project aims to transmit power from new generation sources into the Kinnaur district of Himachal Pradesh, paving the way towards harnessing 23,000 MW of hydro power potential in the state.
The project scope includes design, engineering, manufacture, supply, testing, and commissioning of the 66 kV GIS, substation automation and control system. All equipment will be produced by Alstom’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities across India.
Himachal Pradesh, a mountainous state with five major rivers flowing through from the western Himalayas, is abundant in water resources.
To harness the hydropower potential requires a reliable means to transmit the power to the end-consumer, without destabilising the network from power overload. Alstom’s new GIS in Urni will draw in the power from new generation sources, including hydropower, before transmitting into the grid.
Rathin Basu, Managing Director, Alstom T&D India said: “This second GIS contract with HPPTCL, following the one awarded in 2013, confirms HPPTCL’s confidence in Alstom’s industrial expertise.
“Alstom has been localising GIS manufacturing activity in India since 2009 in Padappai near Chennai, and currently leads the GIS market in India. To date, Alstom has supplied approximately 700 GIS bays in the country, covering a range of voltages from 66kV to 400kV.”
GIS is the preferred technology for hydropower plants, difficult terrains such as mountains, coastal areas and cities.
Its compact and enclosed design makes it ideal for smaller footprint and low maintenance applications. It is well-adapted for areas where space is scarce, such as cities and regions where cost of land is high.
Alstom T&D India has over 100 years of expertise in building the transmission infrastructure for the country, and Alstom as a whole had sales of over €20 billion and booked €21.5 billion in orders in 2013/14.
Nybl: Saudi Startup to Expand AI Solutions
According to co-founder Nour Alnahhas, nybl was formed for the greater good. A visual data mining and machine learning platform, the platform will help organisations streamline their operations. ‘We wanted to centralise our vision around AI and machine learning’, said Alnahhas. ‘Something not just for profit, but added value. Conscious capitalism’.
Nybl aims to democratise artificial intelligence by making it possible for anyone to build an AI solution. What website builders like Wix and Squarespace did for site design, nybl will do for AI—allowing even non-coders to feel comfortable creating solutions. In fact, Alnahhas calls it a ‘Shopify of AI’, or a third-party platform that helps businesses deliver better service.
With hubs in Kuwait, the UAE, North America, and India, nybl is focused on launching operations in Saudi Arabia, Alnahhas’s home country. When the company first launched, it was difficult to convince Saudi Arabian businesses to work with a startup. Yet now, nybl has proven itself. ‘We had support in the UAE, so now we’re coming back’, said Alnahhas.
Alnahhas has launched a pilot with Saudi Aramco and has slowly built partnerships with paper, heating, HVAC air conditioning, and manufacturing companies. In addition, the Saudi government has started to invest in the Kingdom’s National Strategy for Data and AI, which means that nbyl, as a tech startup, has finally gained credibility.
No War for Talent
One of the most critical parts of nybl’s expansion will be hiring the right individuals. Thankfully, there’s a current surplus of talented researchers, developers, and data scientists within the Kingdom. Like nybl’s Alnahhas—educated at the University of Houston, the Wharton School of Business, and INSEAD— many Saudi Arabians have benefited from government-sponsored education abroad.
Last year, Saudi Arabia signed several partnerships with tech firms to advance the Kingdom’s skills in artificial intelligence. ‘It’s exciting to be in Saudi Arabia where there’s alignment and support’, Alnahhas concluded. ‘You’re getting an increasing talent pool. And even old and big family conglomerates are finally changing to use AI’.