Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited (SWSL) (BSE Scrip Code: 542760; NSE Symbol: SWSOLAR), today announced that it has signed (along with its branch and Australian subsidiary) an EPC contract of approx. AUD 525 million (~ INR 2,600 crore) as well as the Operation and Maintenance (O&M) contract of approx. AUD 85 million (~ INR 415 crore), which is its largest order in Australia. The duration of the O&M contract is for a maximum period of 20 years. The order signals the resilience in the solar market as well as SWSL’s competitive position in the global EPC market.
With this award, SWSL establishes its presence in Australia, 15 Months after setting up operations. The company claims that its cumulative order book in Australia is now approx. AUD 1 billion (~ INR 4,900 crore), making it amongst the largest Solar EPCs in a market that has emerged as a key solar growth market in recent years. However, that also meant a very competitive market, which even saw a shakeout of sorts recently with leading local players like RCR Tomlinson going down, while others like Tempo Australia, and Decmil have struggled ti survive. International groups like the Greece-based Ellactor, or the troubled Downer group have also underlined the tough conditions in the market, caused mainly due to low margins and connection delays at the state level. SWSL’s global experience has certainly helped the country possibly time its entry well, while we await more news on its margins.
Even in India, SWSL claims to have signed two projects with leading global IPPs adding up to a value of INR 620 crore during he pandemic period.
For Sterling and Wilson Solar, which managed to mess up what would have been a banner year in 2019-20 with a botched post IPO corporate governance mess, the improved news flow will certainly help, with a stock price that has been as volatile as they come. Its stock is currently trading down 85 percent over its offered price.
A substantial portion of the Company’s international revenues for the current financial year will come from Australia, South America and the USA where the construction of solar projects has now commenced to full capacity. Though the firm has not mentioned it, it also has some large projects in the middle east, though the outlook there is a little bit more muddied. Renewable projects in India, which also add up considerably to the Company’s revenues, have been allowed to restart now. SWSL is in the process of handing over projects which are being completed post lockdown and starting other projects. The firm claims that the worst impact of COVID-19 seems to have passed and the Company is looking forward to increased activity in order booking and revenues.
Mr. Bikesh Ogra – Director and Global CEO, Sterling and Wilson Solar Limited said, “This is our largest order in Australia and is a culmination of efforts to break new ground in countries like Australia, the United States and South America, where SWSL has invested in a strong team that is completely aligned with the local requirements. Renewable sector plays a vital role in the world’s journey towards clean energy and as a home-grown company we are continuously working together with several stakeholders in supporting this vision. India continues to be a steady and focused market for SWSL. Along with our exponential growth in the international market over the past decade, we continue to remain a dominant player in the domestic market as well.”