One of the biggest wind turbines, Inox Wind, has declared an indefinite lockout at its Rohika plant in Ahmedabad, from October 22 blaming both its workers and the current situation in the wind industry.
The company has fully operational plants at Ahmedabad, Indore and Himachal Pradesh. The Rohika plant manufactures 900 rotor blades and 1,500 steel towers per annum, employs more than 1,200 employees both directly and indirectly. In a letter addressed to the labour commissioner, Inox said its workmen have resorted to “illegal strikes, stoppage of work and
the slowdown of work in the factory to pressurize
the management.” It further said that this slowdown is not only affecting productivity but also posing a threat to the survival of the manufacturing unit.
The letter mentions that there were two illegal strikes on October 10 and 11, and since then, the workmen had started to employ “ago slow tactics” which is leading to late delivery to the customers and in turn resulting in financial losses. “We have continuously counseled them not to stop and slow down the work but the workmen are not ready to understand the current situation of the company, deliberately slowing down the work continuously,” said the letter was written by the unit head of Rohika. The situation in Inox Wind tells the story of the rough times the wind industry is going through due to a variety of factors – increasingly aggressive tariffs, distribution companies arbitrary canceling auctions if tariff rose, the reluctance of certain state governments to provide land for wind projects and transmission issues.
Experts have maintained that wind turbine makers have been struggling since 2017 when the wind industry transitioned from the feed-in-tariff regime to the reverse auction system. Until February 2017, wind tariffs were set by the respective power regulators of the wind energy-producing states depending on its speed and intensity. In February, the Solar Corporation of India, the central government’s nodal agency responsible for holding wind and solar auctions, conducted its first wind reverse auction of 1000 MW where tariffs tumbled to INR 3.46 per unit.