Solar module manufacturers on expansion spree to meet peak demand

M Ramesh Chennai | Updated on January 16, 2018

Leading Indian solar module manufacturers have said they are expanding capacities.

Kolkata-based Vikram Solar is spending ₹400 crore in raising its capacity from 500 MW to 1 GW by November, and then to 2 GW by 2019. The company is buying the equipment required for manufacturing from Teamtecknik of Germany.

In addition, Vikram Solar will invest another ₹150 crore in putting up a cell manufacturing facility, the company’s President and CTO, Ivan Saha, told BusinessLine at the REI 2016 conference-cum-expo in Delhi, last week.

The company intends to go “further in the value chain” later, he said, noting that the company’s investments have been approved for grants under the government’s M-SIPS (modified special incentive package scheme).

Mumbai-based Waaree Energies also is doubling its module capacity to 1 GW. The company’s CEO, Sunil Rathi, said the expanded facility would be production-ready by the year end.

Tata Power’s expansion

Tata Power Solar is also expanding both its module and cell lines, the company’s CEO and Executive Director Ashish Khanna said, without giving out details. The company has cell and module capacities of 140 MW and 300 MW respectively.

According to data provided by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, India had cell and module capacities of 1,212 MW and 5,620 MW respectively, as on April 1, 2016, but most of the companies that figure in the Ministry’s list have long ceased to function.

Apart from Vikram, Waaree and Tata Power Solar, there are a few companies that have some sales, such as Surana Solar, BHEL and Emmvee.

The Indian market is almost entirely catered to by Chinese companies — notably, Trina, Canadian Solar, Hanwha, JA Solar and Renesola.

Bridge-to-India data

Data compiled by the solar consultancy, Bridge-to-India, shows that in the 3,662 MW of projects commissioned between the third quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of this year, Waaree had a 3.8 per cent share, Tata Power Solar 2.5 and Vikram 1.1. Most of the Indian manufacturers, including Vikram, Waaree and Tata Power Solar, are working well under full capacity.

Asked why the companies were still expanding capacities, Hitesh Doshi, Chairman and Managing Director, Waaree Energies Ltd, said demand peaks and falls, and the expansion is to meet the peak demand.

Published on September 13, 2016

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