The Kolkata-headquartered company said it plans to “add another 3,000 MW of integrated module, cell and wafer manufacturing capacity in the next five years,” as it aims to penetrate newer global and domestic markets.
Vikram Solar on Tuesday inaugurated a 1,300 mega-watt (MW) module manufacturing capacity in its new facility Chennai, raising the company’s production base to 2,500 MW.
The Kolkata-headquartered company said it plans to “add another 3,000 MW of integrated module, cell and wafer manufacturing capacity in the next five years,” as it aims to penetrate newer global and domestic markets. The firm said that it will not be bidding for incentives for the new plant under the Centre’s `4,500-crore production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, but the upcoming planned capacities might be considered for PLI after “critical deliberations on the tenets of the scheme”.
The latest manufacturing plant incurred capital cost of Rs 200 crore. “We believe that the exponential demand surge for solar energy coupled with a clarion call globally to diversify trade markets and supply chain presents a huge opportunity for indigenous solar manufacturing,” Gyanesh Chaudhary, managing director, Vikram Solar, said. The Chennai unit is the company’s second manufacturing base after the 1,200 MW plant located in the special economic zone (SEZ) in Falta, West Bengal. The new plant is based in a non-SEZ area, and the company attributed “enabling policy environment of the state government” and “access to railroads, airports and seaports” to the choice of the location for setting up the plant.
Domestic developers have preferred to import cheaper equipment, mostly from China, to build solar plants in the country, and to boost domestic manufacturing, the Centre had imposed a 25% safeguard duty on solar imports from China and Malaysia in July 2018 for two years, which was extended till July, 2021 at a rate of 15%.
From the beginning of FY23, solar module imports will attract a basic customs duty of 40%. As on date, even the 3,000 MW of cell manufacturing units and the 10,000 MW of domestic solar module makers have to import most of their components such as wafers and ingots from outside.