James Qiao
General Manager
Chint Mexico
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End-To-End Solutions for Any Electrical Component

By Cas Biekmann | Fri, 07/31/2020 - 10:09

Q: What products does Chint Group provide and what makes the Mexican market attractive?

A: Chint Group is an umbrella provider, with subsidiary companies & brands such as Astronergy solar modules, CPS inverters & storage systems, Chint & Noark low voltage products, T&D equipment for High/Medium Voltage transmission and distribution, etc. Chint has been involved in almost every business imaginable that is related to energy: power generation, transmission, distribution and more. Chint Mexico covers all these business areas. We offer our CPS inverter, the Astronergy solar panel, energy storage solutions and power distribution products as a complete portfolio for the market.

Mexico is a strategic market for Chint. There are quite a few big markets in Latin America, including Brazil, Colombia and Argentina. Mexico, however, is the most stable. It also represents the highest level of manufacturing in the entire region, supplying markets from Canada to Brazil. We see power consumption rising in the country as well. Mexico has benefited from NAFTA and will continue to do so with USMCA. We believe that Mexico will continue to be a stable market, and a good area for manufacturing, with access to good education and human resources. All of these factors convinced Chint to come to Mexico and start to develop and implement our product lines. Furthermore, we are thinking of setting up local manufacturing.

 

Q: Which product lines do you believe will have the most demand as Mexico continues to develop its electrical sector?

A: We believe that low, medium and high-voltage products can play an important role. For the renewable energy sector, our Astronergy solar panels are important, as they are a Tier 1 brand with superior quality. We have around 5GW manufacturing capacity per year and are well-positioned in the market with one of the best available solar panels worldwide. In regard to CPS inverters, we are doing quite well. We are the largest 3-phase string inverter supplier in the North American market, and No. 1 in the US with 800MW shipped last year. Even during the pandemic, we experienced significant growth in this market. In the solar market, Chint does not provide trackers, but we have everything else in our portfolio. Whether medium or high voltage, we have all the transformers and substations available. Major clients include Engie, Acciona and ENEL Green Power, which had a 780MW solar project in the country using Chint’s transformers.

The company is already supplying its complete portfolio to Mexico’s renewable energy market. However, considering recent policy changes, we expect caution on the part of renewables investors. Project development will slow down somewhat. Companies working in the Mexican market will go out and find opportunities abroad. Because of the market´s strategic position, Chint Mexico will remain here and grow further in its low, medium and high-voltage business. Our goal is to develop our distributed generation business line as well and expand to neighboring countries to seek out renewable energy opportunities. Whenever the utility-scale market reboots, we will be ready to do business.

Differences between markets are not so important to us. We can simply offer what a market needs and tailor solutions to our customers. We are well-prepared and ready to deal with a large variety of scenarios.

 

Q: How is the company using webinars and training to provide an integral service in the DG market?

A: We provide many trainings and webinars to introduce our customers to the broad portfolio of solutions and the value these bring. We are satisfied with our growth in the DG market and the number of satisfied customers is only increasing. But to win a customer over, you need more than quality products at a reasonable price, which we already offer. It is also about support. We have a complete offering of pre-sales support, engineering support and after-sales service to provide a true all-around service. We consider this a stable base for Chint Group in Latin America and will grow further from this point.

 

Q: How is the company providing storage solutions to complement its other products?

A: As part of its portfolio, Chint provides storage solutions for enterprises and utility-scale projects. They can be used for load shifting, peak shaving, grid balancing and other scenarios. Chint has some ongoing projects in Baja California, where storage is mandatory for solar projects. We are also looking to market these solutions in Central America and other Latin American countries. There are many countries where the grid is not very stable. In these cases, introducing renewable energy combined with storage solutions meets mandatory requirements. We are also seeing an uptake in demand for smaller capacity storage. This is a good sign for us and means that the market is taking off.

We have some interesting additional features, especially in our inverters – our smart inverters support the grid. These are supported by the US UL 1741 SA. These inverters still inject energy into the grid, even if there are unexpected variances in the energy supply. New policies and requirements demand that inverters be smart enough to handle such issues. CPS has this capacity available for commercial and industrial applications.

 

Q: What goals is Chint aiming to achieve for 2020-2021?

A: Chint previously had an aggressive plan for this time period. But now, unforeseen events seem to happen every week. Years later, we will look back on 2020 as a turning point for many things. Therefore, for 2020-2021, our approach will be similar to others. First, we will focus on survival, which should not be an issue. Second, Chint is aiming to grow in different sectors, such as the low and high-voltage businesses, as well as solar in other countries. We will continue supporting Mexico’s DG business as well.

Chint has a wide portfolio of products and that is an advantage. This makes us more resilient and adaptable. One of our most important strategies is to provide integral solutions to the challenges our customers face. When you look at the market, you will notice that there are not many players that are able to provide an all-around solution. Most competitors focus on a single line of products. If people need specialized designs or are looking to simplify complicated purchases and aftersales services, we offer a solution. We are an industry leader in terms of quality and costs. Therefore, we think it will be only a matter of time before we reach these goals. I am confident we can grow further in 2020 and 2021. It is merely a matter of how fast we can go.

 

Chint Mexico is an industrial leading technology supplier and manufacturer of power electrical products and solutions. It produces a variety of appliances, including low voltage electric products, medium and high voltage electric transmission and distribution equipment and renewable energy solutions, among other electrical equipment.

Cas Biekmann Cas Biekmann Journalist and Industry Analyst