Rs 720-cr solar cell plant to come up near Chennai

M. Ramesh Chennai | Updated on November 13, 2017

A solar farm at Sri City. -- M. Ramesh

Shan Solar Pvt Ltd, whose solar PV module plant near Chennai is likely to be production-ready in a month, intends to go further down the value chain and put up a crystalline silicon manufacturing plant. The plant is expected to cost around Rs 720 crore, the company's Chairman, Mr Suryaprakash Singapur, told Business Line today.


Shan Solar's module plant will come up in the Sri City Special Economic Zone, about 55 km north of Chennai. The company has invested Rs 80 crore in setting up the plant, which can produce 30 MW worth of solar modules each year. An expansion of the modules facility is on the cards —another Rs 60 crore of investments would take the capacity up to about 100 MW.

However, the bigger story is the journey down the value chain. The modules plant would import crystalline silicon cells from China or Taiwan and make PV modules — a process of assembly that involves cutting the cells, placing them on glass sheets, wiring them together, laminating the surface and adding a ‘junction box.'

The key product is the silicon cell, which is made out of poly silicon. Shan Solar wants to make the cells, too. It has acquired additional land in Sri City. While no decision has been taken to put up the plant in Sri City, the company is inclined towards locating the cell plant near the module unit.

Technology partner

Centrotherm Photovoltaics of Germany is Shan Solar's technology partner and equipment supplier to the module facility. The collaboration would continue into the cell unit, Mr C Suryaprasad, CEO and Joint Managing Director, Shan Solar, said.

Incidentally, Shan Solar participated in the bidding process for setting up solar power projects in the first round of bidding of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission. The winners of the bidding were those who offered to sell solar power at the least price to NVVN Ltd, the company (a subsidiary of the public sector power producer, NTPC). Shan Solar, which offered to sell power at a little over Rs 14, was out-bid by others, but Mr Suryaprasad feels a lesser price would trip the economics of the project.

However, Shan Solar nurtures ambitions of becoming a solar power producer, apart from being a producer of equipment to generate solar electricity. Mr Singapur said Shan Solar would forward-integrate into development of solar farms of 30 MW capacity, but said he was not sure if it would happen in India.

Published on June 21, 2011

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