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Doosan Škoda Power voices

Martin Baxa

Martin Baxa

New Build,
Head of Sales – region Asia

Every Turbine is Unique

A major player from the Czech Republic, Doosan Škoda Power, a steam turbine manufacturer backed by its Korean parent company, has been strengthening its presence in the Southeast Asia market in recent years. Martin Baxa, Head of Sales – Asia at Doosan Škoda Power for New Build projects, is looking for new contracts in the Southeast Asia region. He manages the entire business development, ranging from identifying the opportunities through to contract …. Together with the above, he is part of the Managing Sales team in the region.

What is Doosan Škoda Power’s position in Southeast Asia?

The Doosan Group holds a firm position in the Southeast Asia market, supported by some successful installations such as a 700MW turbine for Cirebon, Indonesia, and a 700MW turbine in Gheco-One, Thailand. Being a part of the Group and a steam turbine supplier, Doosan Škoda Power thus also has opportunities to pursue its business in that region thanks to the Group’s good reputation.

You know, we are completely confident in our product. We are one of the few suppliers having their own proprietary technology. In addition, we have concentrated all that we need in a single place from the perspective of both turbine manufacture and development. This helps us to respond flexibly to the developments in every project and to the needs on new markets.

The fact that you are part of the Doosan Group is therefore crucial for you?

The fact that we are part of the Doosan Group primarily helps us to strengthen our position on the Asian market, where the Doosan Group is regarded as a stable supplier of both turnkey energy projects and subcontracted deliverables. It also helps us when we approach new customers. Doosan’s regional units promote and maintain relationships with our current and potential customers. It would be very complicated for us to do all of this from the heart of Europe. Had we not joined the Doosan Group seven years ago, it would most probably be more complicated for us to develop our some of the markets now.

Which markets in that region are you planning to enter in the foreseeable future?

Most of the Southeast Asia markets tend to grow and hold a potential for the future. From our perspective, Indonesia is the priority; we have signed a contract for delivering a turbine set to the Grati CCGT power plant in that country.

Where do you see more opportunities, in the private or in the public sector?

It is a combination of both. This is mainly true for Indonesia and Thailand. These countries have their major local manufacturers and private investors. On the other hand, the Philippines are a country where the energy market is fragmented among a fairly large number of private energy producers.

You are a European company. From your perspective, how does business in Asia differ from business in Europe?

Basically we are not starting but building up our presence based on recent and past experience. Beyond Europe we have already installed our equipment in various parts of the world.

We have been present in India for several decades with more than 110 turbines in the operation. Historically we also contributed to BHEL with our design. Recently we have supplied our steam turbines to several Indian power plants. We got a support from our local subsidiary focusing on sales, execution and engineering.

We supplied several 500 MW turbines to China. In addition we also established a joint venture with Skoda Jinma for production of small scale steam turbines.

Over the last few years we signed several contracts to Latin America or with Chinese and Korean EPC to third countries.

Principally we do not expect a fuel mix significantly different from Europe for next couple of years. Probably coal will keep its major role. It shall be followed by the gas and renewables.

On another note there has been an important change in OECD rules for export financing. This will affect larger number of projects in Asia. Specifically most of coal fired power plants will cease to benefit from the ECA support from 2017. This will probably strengthen the position of the EPC companies from non OECD countries, e.g. from China.

What cultural differences are the hardest nuts for you to crack?

It could be expected that there are big cultural differences. But no unbridgeable differences have been identified so far. We like working with people from other parts of the world and we are looking forward to next cooperation.

What is Doosan Škoda Power’s advantage over the relevant competitors on this market?

There is no question that it is the combination of the Doosan and Škoda brands. The market correctly regards us as an Asian firm thanks to our connection with the Doosan Group, which is relatively well-known on the market as the supplier of large complete plants. We seek to leverage this reputation by way of supplementing Doosan’s focus on complete plants and also as a supplier of self-standing turbines based on our proprietary technology.

In parallel with this, when it comes to steam turbines, vast number of customers are similarly aware of the Škoda brand. Those of them who know the brand view it favourably. This creates a very positive combination for the future.

You usually participate in tendering procedures as part of a consortium. Is the composition of the consortia changed for each particular market, or do you have partners with whom you work in multiple geographies?

In this respect, the market is very diverse and interesting. In general, it is normal to see companies cooperating on one project and competing on another project. Consortia are being set up on the basis of, inter alia, the requirements of the tendering procedure. Sometimes one of the conditions is that the offering EPC suppliers have to work with local firms. We have also come across the requirement that the consortium leader be a local firm. Although a non-member of the consortium we are still a key technology supplier of the consortium.

Does the design of your turbines (and other equipment) differ depending on the region’s geo-climatic conditions?

In our business, basically each and every turbine differs from preceding turbines. The reason is that the boundary conditions on the basis of which the turbine is to be designed are different every time. A 100% repeat occurs only rarely. But there is no fundamental difference in the design of turbines for Southeast Asia and those for other parts of the world. Thus, from the perspective of reference projects, the knowledge gained in other regions is applied to our projects here. For us it means that when we have experience with a 300MW turbine delivered to Turkey or Mexico, another 300MW turbine will generate electricity reliably elsewhere as well.

What position for Doosan Škoda Power in Southeast Asia do you expect to see in 10 to 15 years?

Our vision is that everyone who knows what the steam turbine is will know that Doosan, together with Doosan Skoda Power, is top tier supplier with an excellent technology and reliable services. In brief we are a partner you like working with.

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