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BHEL to set up solar PV facility

BS Reporter  |  Chennai/ Bangalore 

The 250 Mw production unit will involve Rs 2,000 crore investment

Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), the state-owned power equipment major, is planning to invest close to Rs 2,000 crore to set up a 250 Mw solar photovoltaic production facility for processing silicon wafers, solar cells and PV modules. The facility will be set up in a joint venture with Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), K Ravi Kumar, chairman and managing director, said.

Talking to reporters after inaugurating the 8 Mw solar PV module manufacturing facility at Bangalore Complex, here today, he said both the are currently in the process of roping in a overseas company for technology transfer for the venture. The deal is likely to be finalised by end of March 2010, he said.

“It is a backward integration for us as we already manufacture solar PV modules in our Bangalore complex. Out of 250 Mw new capacity, some portion will be exported. We must have a power plant for setting up this facility. It is a power intensive and needs at least 400 Mw of power. The location will be finalised by end of the year,” he said.

Currently, is making silicon modules from wafers. This will be the first such major facility for manufacturing raw material for solar panels by BHEL and BEL together. Polysilicon is a key component for integrated circuit and central processing unit manufacturers such as and Intel.

He said the proposed polysilicon material manufacturing facility will be an integrated unit that will produce polysilicon ingots, wafers, solar cells, modules and solar panel systems.

The company will mainly sell the solar systems to government agencies that are engaged in the popularisation of solar energy beside exports. Currently, BEL is exporting solar cells to Germany, France, Italy among others. While there is a demand for 100,000 solar cells per month, BEL is exporting 50,000 solar cells every month.

BHEL is a leading player in the field of solar power plants in the country. The modules are manufactured in Bangalore.

It also exports to various countries such as Germany, Australia and Italy.

First Published: Thu, September 03 2009. 00:20 IST