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Green Economy: Finland for partnership on clean infrastructure

Green Economy: Finland for partnership on clean infrastructure

Clean technologies lead the way for stronger ties between India and Finland. An increasing number of Finnish companies are leaping at the opportunities India has to offer, says Rai Shivapati Ray.


One of the ramifications of going ‘clean’ is that it has opened up immense, new international opportunities, sometimes strengthening hitherto weak linkages between countries—especially new technology from inventive countries to massive markets like India. Like many other countries, India is making the move to include renewable sources in its energy generation basket, providing plenty of scope for technology and business activities. Much of the technology and equipment for renewable energy in India is either imported or made by international companies in India. Among the many suitors, Finland, a major player for clean technology products and solutions, is quite bullish about the immense business opportunities in renewable energy and other sectors, such as water, with scope for clean technology.


“Clean technologies lead the way for stronger ties between India and Finland. It is also evident that an increasing number of Finnish companies are leaping at the opportunities India has to offer,” said Paula Lehtomaki, Minister of the Environment, Government of Finland, on the occasion of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2011 (DSDS) in the national capital in January 2011.


“The global challenges faced by us today can be turned into opportunities with the right technologies and know-how. What is needed is enhanced cooperation and sharing of knowledge,” said Lehtomaki at the press conference which was organised by Cleantech Finland, where Finnish companies discussed how Finnish technologies can contribute to creating a green economy. “Green economy is essentially about integrating environmental aspects into all sectors of the society—and simultaneously boosting economic growth, for example, by creating new green jobs. The rapid development and introduction of clean technologies has a crucial role in creating a green economy,” she added.


Leading Finnish clean technology companies Kemira, Metso, Picosun, Ruukki and The Switch are exploring various business opportunities in India’s booming market while strengthening their cooperation with local companies. Their key focus areas include water and energy.


For example, Kemira Oyj, a world leader in water chemicals, along with the promoters of IVRCL, have agreed to form a joint venture in India. In addition, Kemira, Hindustan Dorr-Oliver (HDO) and IVRCL are forming a strategic alliance to serve Indian water treatment markets. IVRCL and HDO are leading water infrastructure companies in India. Kemira’s estimation is that the Indian market potential relevant to the company is approximately $300 million. “This cooperation is well-aligned with Kemira’s strategy to grow profitably in India. Through this cooperation Kemira will have a strong manufacturing base in India and an opportunity to broaden our business. Combining Kemira’s water chemistry know-how and IVRCL’s expertise in building water infrastructure we are able to meet the rapidly growing water demand,” informed Hannu Virolainen, Senior Vice President, Industrial Customer Segment, Kemira Oyj.


Similarly, The Switch, a leading supplier of wind power and new energy applications, who entered the Indian market in 2010, regards India’s growing wind and solar power market highly attractive. The government’s wind and solar power programme has been the fastest growing sector of the country’s energy planning process. India’s wind power potential exceeds 45,000 MW and the country also possesses a high-potential solar energy resource. By 2022, India’s target is to have 38,500 MW of installed wind power capacity and 20,000 MW of solar power respectively.


“Through the recent deal signed by Chinese Dongfang Electric and KSK Energy of India, our company will be contributing to the export of 166 1.5 MW permanent magnetic direct-drive wind turbines to India by providing technology and key components. We are already finalising contracts with Indian manufacturers. We intend to be the partner of choice to our Indian customers and will help them to develop the country’s vast potential for clean energy,” averred Pertti Kurttila, Vice President, Supply at The Switch.


Clean technology is already set to become a driver for India-Finland economic cooperation on innovation as the volume of business between the countries has crossed over one billion dollars and India has become the fourth biggest trading partner in Asia for Finland, after China, Japan and South Korea.


Since 2000, Finland has thrice ranked as No 1 among 146 countries, in environmental sustainability and performance in World Economic Forum’s ESI index.

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