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Interview

Debajit Das, Regional Director, Aggreko, Singapore

19.04.2014 / Energyboardroom

“One of the major challenges facing Asia’s infrastructure is power. Power will either hinder or facilitate growth of aspiring Asian nations. Investment is needed to bolster energy security but the pot of funds available for power investments are finite,” comments Debajit Das, Regional Director of Aggreko, Singapore.


Aggreko unveiled its new regional APAC facility & Centre of Excellence in Singapore in June 2013. What was the strategic motivation behind locating this new facility in Singapore?

First and foremost, Singapore is a strategic hub for Asia, acting as a headquarter magnate for international companies. As such, through locating in Singapore we have positioned ourselves at the epicentre of the global business network and our customers. Secondly, the Lion-City is a logistical choke point for the region, facilitating easy and efficient access to and from our Asian offices. Thirdly, we have found the Singaporean government and organizations such as the EDB incredibly supportive in encouraging us to set up our new APAC headquarters.

The IEA anticipates Southeast Asia’ energy outlook to increase by 80 percent between now and 2035. According to a range of economists, such reliance on energy security could unhinge economic growth. How does Aggreko’s services support the region in mitigating this challenge?

One of the major challenges facing Asia’s infrastructure is power. Power will either hinder or facilitate growth of aspiring Asian nations. Investment is needed to bolster energy security but the pot of funds available for power investments are finite. Where there are gaps between investment, power and demand, Aggreko fits in. The business model is the right fit for a region such as Asia Pacific because it is so diverse in terms of infrastructure and economic growth.

Aggreko is the world’s largest temporary power generation company, and a major supplier of temperature control equipment. Our temporary power systems deliver cost-efficient and responsive power solutions for a range of industries, projects and events.

In Asia-Pacific we are well known for our ability to provide 24 hours a day, seven days a week reliable temporary power and temperature control services, allowing customers to continue with their businesses uninterrupted. Asia Pacific is a central region for the company, and we are actively expanding our temporary solutions to customers in need of a reliable rental partner. Importantly, a lot of our work is in market development. We need to actively share with people and companies how our products and solutions can help them. We aim to promote our concepts and once customers understand our concepts and services, they invariably use them.

With the launch of the G3+ product, what are your expectations for the traction of this product  and what it can build in this energy hungry region?

G3 is a diesel machine, which Aggreko designed and built, and indeed it is our solution. The G3+ is a significant upgrade on the existing G3 engines that currently power the majority of our fleet. The new engine produces 14 percent more power at 12 percent lower cost per MW than a standard G3 engine. The G3+HFO variant of the new engine is also the first of its kind that can run on HFO. This produces power at around half the cost in terms of $/MW than traditional diesel alternatives, providing our customers with significant cost savings.

The G3+ engine has set a new industry benchmark in terms of output and cost efficiency and places Aggreko in an even stronger position with customers. Meanwhile the HFO variant means that Aggreko is the only temporary power provider in the world that can offer customers a full range of fuels—diesel, gas or HFO, at prices that compare increasingly favourably to those of permanent power. It is a very exciting product that will gain a lot of traction in this part of the world.

How important is the Oil and Gas sector towards supplementing Aggreko’s regional growth?

The oil and gas sector is a pre-dominant sector for Aggreko. Aggreko provides complete turnkey power solutions for the oil and gas industry. We seek to deliver cost-effective and timely power solutions for the complex range of upstream and downstream operations. In today’s environment of fierce competition and volatile oil prices, efficient and cost-effective operations are critical to ensure project profitability. Our company’s skills and experience in the design, installation, commission and operative of multi-megawatt power packages allow end users to focus on their core operations.

Can you give us a case study example as to the projects Aggreko has accomplished in this region?

The day after the tsunami struck Japan, I got on a plane and headed to Tokyo. We had previous experience working with the Japanese during the 2002 World Cup and felt we could help them during their time of need. Our team quickly came up with a proposition and installed within 60 days 200 MW of emergency power. The contract was for 100 MW of gas-fired and 100 MW of diesel-fired generation. It is an example of what the company can do for customers during times of great adversity. We strive to be responsive and available to all potential customers. We always aim to beat the expectations of our clients and invariably we achieve that aim.

Such projects illustrate the hard work and technical prowess of our people. The team I spearhead has a fire-fighting and industrious spirit. This is what gets me excited and propels my motivation. It is the ‘orange blood’ characteristic that drives this company forward. What the customer wants, we provide and more. Going the extra mile in terms of service has served us well.

Is it accurate to say Aggreko is a solution driven company?

Yes, the company’s business model is oriented around being a solutions provider. Through our solutions we enable our customers to have something that they would not have without our services.

On a personal level, what key characteristic makes Aggreko an attractive company to work for?

This is a company where you can build your entrepreneurial dreams. Following Aggreko’s acquisition of GE’s Rental division, I first started working with Aggreko in Beijing and that allowed me to catalyse our Asian operation. I subsequently went on to spearhead the company’s expansion into the buoyant market of Asia. This is a region of gargantuan potential and capitalizing on the abundance of opportunities is what triggers my excitement.

If you were to implement a three-year regional plan, how do you envisage the company’s market position in three years’ time?

As a result of a number of factors I am very enthusiastic about the future. Firstly, we are operating in a very exciting part of the world that will increasingly demand the myriad of solutions that Aggreko offers. Secondly, we are working with some exceptional customers and I am leading an immensely talented and motivated team. Finally, we are on the cusp of moving into our new and modern APAC headquarters, which will represent another milestone in our regional evolution. The future is definitely as exciting as when I came here from day one; we have all the ingredients to supplement further regional success.

 

To read more interviews and articles on Singapore, and to download the latest free report on the country, click here.

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