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Grundfos to increase solar water pumps business in India

The India unit of Grundfos Pumps plans to sell more solar water pumps in the second-most populous nation to capitalise on a government pledge for grants to help raise agricultural yields and reduce expensive diesel fuel use.

The local unit of the Danish parent sold 9,000 pumps the last four years to help supply drinking water in villages, said N.K. Ranganath, managing director of Grundfos India.

“More private companies are investing in putting up solar pumps in villages for drinking water,” Ranganath said. “The next thing is slightly bigger solar for farming. It’s a good idea,” Ranganath said in a phone interview from Chennai.

The nation will draw 100 billion rupees ($1.6 billion) of investment over five years as the first 200,000 most easily replaceable pumps changed to solar, the government estimates. Switching 26 million groundwater pumps on farms that suffer from blackouts and volatile fuel costs to run on solar may save $6 billion a year in India power and diesel subsidies.

Grundfos, which plans to invest 2.3 billion rupees over three years in India, is working with Jain Irrigation Systems Ltd., Asia’s top irrigation-equipment maker, and Auroville, Tamil Nadu-basedSunlit Futures to supply solar pumps.

The company is also looking at state governments such as Maharashtra, which last week said it will install 500,000 farm solar pumps over a year, and plans to bid for more municipal water contracts, Ranganath said. Grundfos India may report an annual revenue of 3.8 billion rupees later this month, he said.


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