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Voltech forms JV with NanoPV to enter solar biz

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Chennai-based electrical system service provider has announced its foray into through a joint venture with US-based NanoPV. The company would invest around $30-40 million (around Rs 150-200 crore) in the 50:50 joint venture, Voltech Solar India Pvt Ltd (NVSIPL), to set up a solar panel manufacturing unit in Tamil Nadu.

After announcing the tie-up with NanoPV and another joint venture with Kuwait-based Rank General Trading and Contracting Company (RGTC) to offer its services in Kuwait, M Umapathy, chairman and managing director, Voltech group said, "We are investing around $30-40 million and the new plant will commence operation in the next six months. We expect our turnover to go up to $100 million (around Rs 500 crore) by 2012-13, with this."

The company currently has a turnover of around $40 million (Rs 200 crore) with engineers working both in India and 15 overseas countries to offer electrical system testing and commissioning services.

Under the agreement, NanoPV would transfer its technology, machines and know-how in the joint venture to manufacture thin film silicon solar panels in a phased manner.

The new plant, to be set up at Kovur in Tamil Nadu, would manufacture panels for 10-30 MW per annum and sees a huge opportunity with the government-supported projects expected to increase in future.

The joint venture with RGTC would help the company to establish its presence to trade its product and services at Kuwait directly.

The company, which has presence in 15 countries including in Europe, Middle East, Far East and African nations, is planning to expand its operations to 10 more countries including Germany, France and Spain in Europe and countries like Algeria and Nigeria in Africa, he added.

It has around 2,500-3,000 engineers on its roles and adds 500 new engineers every year. The company is also looking at an acquisition, of electrical system companies in Australia at a range of around $5million (around Rs 24 crore) range, he said. Voltech, which has recently made its manufacturing arm a closely held public company, also has plans for Initial Public Offering (IPO) two to three years later, said Umapathi.

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