- Polysilicon is used to make ingots and wafers. It is readily available for imports from countries outside of China like South Korea
- The MNRE official said that they need to look at providing interest subvention to wafer and ingot manufacturers
As per a report by the Financial Express, a senior official from the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) told FE that the Chinese manufacturers have increased the price of wafers that is used in the manufacturing of cells after India increased the production of cells under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. It added that public sector companies like NTPC and BHEL may set up polysilicon manufacturing plants in the country to help reduce India’s dependence on China for import of wafers, ingots and cells for integrated manufacturing of solar modules under the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
As per the report, the official said that to overcome the issue of highhandedness of Chinese manufacturers, Indian government is in talks with PSUs to set up around 10GW of polysilicon manufacturing capacity in India. Polysilicon is used to make ingots and wafers. It is readily available for imports from countries outside of China like South Korea.
As per industry standards, one gigawatt of polysilicon capacity costs anywhere between Rs 1,250 crore to Rs 1,500 crore. The report said that MNRE is also working on a scheme to provide financial incentives to the manufacturers willing to set up polysilicon, ingots and wafers plants. It added that the manufacturing of wafers and ingots is capital intensive in nature as against the cells and modules manufacturing where the per unit cost has become self sustainable with the import duties and solar schemes such as KUSUM, CPSU and Rooftop.
The MNRE official said that they need to look at providing interest subvention to wafer and ingot manufacturers. They also need to look at self sustaining and captive usage schemes for wafer manufacturers as well. In August, union power minister RK Singh said that India must become self-reliant in manufacturing of solar equipment in the next 18 months to reduce its dependence on Chinese imports