Birla Surya to set up silicon wafers unit, to invest 5400 cr

Birla Surya to set up silicon wafers unit, to invest 5400 cr

Mumbai: Birla Surya Ltd, a part of Yash Birla Group (YBG), on Thursday announced that the company will invest $1.2 billion (about 5,400 crore) over the next five years to build India’s first and largest integrated facility for fabrication of multi crystalline silicon wafers and processing of solar photovoltaic cells.

In the first phase, the company will set up manufacturing facilities for 60 MWp of multi-crystalline solar photovoltaic cells and fabrication of 125 MWp multi-crystalline silicon wafers using solar grade silicon (SGS).

Birla Surya has already acquired land for phase I of the project in Satara district in Maharashtra and is in the process of acquiring land for the future expansion simultaneously, Group chairman Yash Birla said.

The first phase will entail an investment of 1,493 crore which will be funded through a mix of equity and debt. The company has tied up for long-term debt to the extent of 970.50 crore. The company would commence commercial production of Phase I by December 2011.

The promoters have already contributed 254 crore to the project out of 792 crore that has been infused into the project so far (including debt) towards advances to equipment and technology suppliers, land and site development.

Asia Pacific Capital, Manager of the GE Asia Pacific Capital Technology Fund will hold 15% stake in the company and will be investing $15 million (about 68 crore) as private equity in the project, Birla said.

“We have been associated with eco-friendly portable power generation for over 30 years. With group’s emphasis on clean and green future, we have forayed into the fast developing solar photovoltaic industry," Birla said.

The company has signed contracts with leading technology suppliers like Roth & Rau AG of Germany, GT Solar of USA, Herbert Arnold GmbH & Co KG of Germany, RENA GmbH of Germany. The company has also signed contracts with leading manufacturers of utility equipment.

India is among the top five countries of the world in terms of renewable energy capacity with an installed base of over 19,000 MW of grid interactive renewable power which is around 11% of our total installed capacity. Besides, it adds about 2500 MW of renewable power annually.

India’s renewable energy programme is one of the largest and most ambitious in the world. It has recently launched the ambitious National solar Mission with a target capacity of 20 GW by 2022.