US Solar Firm CubicPV Looking To Invest $1.1 Billion To Manufacture Components Under Solar PLI Scheme: Report

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CEO Mierlo had said that the firm is in advanced stages of talks for partnership with a local Indian firm through which it will apply for the PLI scheme

US-based solar component maker CubicPV is looking at India as a manufacturing hub as it plans to invest $1.1 billion to set up 10 GW solar wafer and cells manufacturing capacity in India over the coming 5 years. 

As per a report by The Financial Express, the company is in talks with the Indian government to participate in the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for solar equipment manufacturers.

CEO Frank Van Mierlo told the publication that the company is planning to bring its products, like wafers and semiconductors, to India.

CubicPV plans to start with 2 GW of cells and wafers capacity, and then expand it to 10 GW over five years at a cost of $1.1 billion, Mierlo said. The wafer manufacturer claims its exclusive technology will reduce the cost of manufacturing drastically. “At present, wafer and cell manufacturers end up wasting very high purity silicones priced at $25/kg during production. Our process doesn’t waste anything. If someone had to import 10,000 tonne of high purity silicone earlier, they will have to import just half of it,” Mierlo said.

In another such conversation with Hindu BusinessLine, Mierlo had said that the firm is in advanced stages of talks for partnership with a local Indian firm through which it will apply for the PLI scheme. 

“Our intent is to find a local partner in India and then jointly apply for the production-linked incentive,” Mierlo said. “Somebody who understands the best way to interact with the local authorities, can help us access the right market channels, can facilitate the right approvals and the right human resource policies is very important.”

While CubicPV will set up and control the wafer and cell manufacturing parts of the production chain, the local partner would handle module assembly from the cells and marketing in the country, Mierlo added. 

“We believe all the measures by the government, such as the PLI scheme, the safeguard duty and customs duty will help nurture the sector, but it is my belief in the long term, the industry will become cost competitive with usage of innovative technologies such as direct wafer,” he said.

CubicPV, which was recently formed through the merger of two US solar firms 1366 Technologies and Hunt Perovskite Technologies, is backed by billionaires Bill Gates and Mukesh Ambani. 

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