Bhaskar Silicon will spend Rs 5,500 crore on the project
KOLKATA: Bhaskar Silicon, an independent company set up by the Indian arm of Singapore-based Environ Energy, is setting up a Rs 5,500-crore integrated solar complex at Haldia in West Bengal.
Company officials said this would be the largest integrated solar power complex in the world, and India’s first polysilicon solar project. Polysilicon is required in the manufacture of solar panels and is being imported currently.
The promoter, Environ Energy-Tech Service, would own 25-30% in the project. The balance stake-holding has not been decided yet, said Jyoti Poddar, director, Environ Energy-Tech.
However, Centrotherm, a German solar power equipment maker, and Perseus, a US private equity investment firm, will have participation in the project, as will Srei Infrastructure Finance and domestic and foreign financial institutions.
The West Bengal government, through its renewable energy arm Green Power Corporation, will also invest in the project. German funding agencies such as KFW and DEG may also be roped in as about 50% of the components would be imported, said a company official.
While Rs 350 crore will be invested in the first phase, the second phase will see Rs 2,500 crore being pumped in. Another Rs 1,100 crore will be infused in the third phase. The first phase is slated to start production by 2009-10.
The technologically-advanced plant will generate 250 megawatt (mw) of solar power annually in the country. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s vision is that India should generate 5,000 mw of solar power by the Eleventh Plan.
The country has a shortfall of 70,000 mw of power with demand growing at 8%. The present electrification options are thermal, gas-based, hydro and wind power plants but they have their drawbacks. There are said to be 90 million households in India that are un-electrified and it is not economically feasible to provide them with power through the grid system. The answer to this lies in solar power.
Nirupam Sen, West Bengal’s commerce and industries minister, said the next phase of the sophisticated polysilicon manufacturing plant would be a semiconductor manufacturing capability. He added that the plant would help create opportunities for a downstream industry in solar panels, especially among small and medium enterprises.
The Haldia Development Authority has already allotted about 200 acre for the project been and will give another 600 acre next year.
Bhaskar Silicon, after its acquisition of Shell Solar last year, claims to be the largest solar solutions company in the world.