Moser Baer to upgrade PV cell efficiency, opens new facility in TN

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The recent shut down of Moser Baer’s PV cell production line in Delhi NCR has raised doubts about the country’s second largest PV cell manufacturer. Although sources in Moser Baer deny the possibility of any major repercussions due to this development, its stocks traded at an 11 year low in Mumbai, immediately after it announced its ‘temporary’ shutdown.

By Richa Chakravarty

Monday, June 13, 2013: “Production of PV cells has been shut down temporarily to carry out work aimed at increasing cell efficiency,” says Vivek Chaturvedi, global head, sales and marketing, Moser Baer India Ltd. “Our existing line was generating PV cells of 15 per cent efficiency and with this, we cannot make a state of the art product. We are upgrading the efficiency to 17 per cent and this upgradation will take about nine months to complete,” he adds.

“In fact, we are planning an expansion. Though the production line in Noida has shut down, our new line in Tamil Nadu (TN) is getting commissioned in July. This was what we had planned a year back. So far, the supply gap has been covered well through outsourcing. We do not have any supply disruptions because of this transition,” informs Vivek Chaturvedi.

Moser Baer’s new production line will have double the earlier production capacity. Currently, it manufactures 100 MW of crystalline silicon cells and 50 MW of thin film cells, and plans to scale up further in the next three years.

The company will invest

Rs 20 billion (Rs 2000 crore) on the PV cell manufacturing facility at Oragadam in Sriperumbudur, near Chennai, and hopes to earn Rs 40.5 billion (Rs 4050 crore) in five years. The investment will be made through its unit, Moser Baer Photovoltaic Ltd, and funded through internal accruals. This investment will be eligible for tax incentives under the Union Government’s schemes that seek to attract investment in the non-conventional energy sector, as the facility is located at a special economic zone (SEZ).

Sriperumbudur has emerged as a hub for electronics manufacturing in the past two years. International hardware manufacturers such as Nokia, Foxconn, Flextronics and Motorola have already established facilities there.

According to Moser Baer, this facility is the first of its kind in India, and will generate employment for 4000 people. Ancillary units manufacturing conductors, inverters and switchgears are also expected to set up their facilities near Moser Baer’s unit, for which the company has asked for 1,011,714 sq m (250 acre) from the state government. These units are expected to generate a combined revenue of about Rs 100 billion (Rs 10,000 crore) at the end of five years. The plant will start rolling out products in 15-18 months after the land acquisition process.

Electronics Bazaar, South Asia’s No.1 Electronics B2B magazine

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