Active Stocks
Tue Dec 05 2023 15:57:23
  1. Power Grid Corporation Of India share price
  2. 222.4 4.46%
  1. Tata Steel share price
  2. 131.6 0.5%
  1. NTPC share price
  2. 285.5 3.89%
  1. State Bank Of India share price
  2. 608.4 2.31%
  1. ICICI Bank share price
  2. 1,013.15 2.28%
Business News/ Companies / People/  Avaada plans 2 solar units to serve foreign markets in 2023
Back Back

Avaada plans 2 solar units to serve foreign markets in 2023

In any of the future molecule businesses, wind will be an integral part of the entire energy basket. It cannot be only hydro or solar, or wind, says Vineet Mittal, Chairman, Avaada Group

Vineet Mittal, Chairman, Avaada GroupPremium
Vineet Mittal, Chairman, Avaada Group

NEW DELHI : Renewable energy company Avaada Group plans to start manufacturing solar equipment, including cells and modules, next year. The company would have two facilities for solar equipment manufacturing and would largely cater to the US and Europe apart from captive consumption, Avaada Group chairman Vineet Mittal said in an interview. The company would also enter polysilicon and wafer manufacturing, he said. Avaada, which had applied for the first tranche of the production-linked incentive scheme for solar modules, is also interested in applying for the second tranche, Mittal said. The company also plans to start green hydrogen production next year. The plan follows Thailand energy major PTT Group’s acquisition of a 41.6% stake in Avaada Energy Pvt. Ltd for about $454 million last year. Edited Excerpts:


What is the scenario in terms of  supply issues and price hikes  in modules?

We have decided that we will be a sand-to-molecule company. We are going to set up our own 5GW cell-to-module line. We should have our module line operational next year. Every year we will add more and more backwards so that we reach the silicon stage. I think worldwide demand will triple in the next eight years. One country cannot fulfil all this demand, and the supply chain will become somewhat distributed. It is still largely serviced by one country, but India will play a vital role in servicing this one requirement. Europe has a huge opportunity. Where are the modules going to come from? China has its requirement, and Australia is setting up huge hydrogen parks. So, the opportunity is almost three times. There is a case made out to our board, which consented, and now we are at an advanced stage of construction of our first cell-to-module factory and then backward integration.

Where will your first solar cell to module plant be set up?

Here also our ambition is slightly bigger. So we will split it across two states. The plants are ready. Everything is done. Detailed engineering is done. Vendor selection is done. Most of the equipment has been ordered. This will cater to both our captive demand as well as European and US demand. In the first phase, we are not targeting the domestic market. We are trying to be an export-driven company, but at some stage, obviously, there will be some servicing for the domestic market also. Production is expected to start next year. We are starting off with cell to modules. Then we will backwards integrate to wafer and silicon.

What are the plans for hydrogen?

We have decided to come out with a 1 million tonne RFP (request for proposal) by December for EPC, and next year we will award the EPC for the first hydrogen project.We are working simultaneously on two projects. Whichever state gives the land faster and more incentives, we will announce the project there. We are talking to almost every state where we want to do hydrogen and ammonia; whichever agrees, we will move faster.

What are your plans for wind energy?

Right now, we have a plan for around 3000MW of wind energy by 2030, but we will keep expanding the plan as we find a suitable location for evacuation and infrastructure. In any of the future molecule businesses, wind will be an integral part of the entire energy basket. It cannot be only hydro or solar, or wind. It has to be a combination of all three so that you can maximize your molecule generation.Currently, all the capacities we are collecting data on are onshore (projects). So, where our wind mast etc., is planned, that is onshore. As the government becomes more and more clear (on offshore), we are also doing detailed feasibility studies on the location, and once we find the appropriate location, we will consider offshore also. But offshore would require viability gap funding.

What is the impact of the supply concerns and price rise of modules?

We usually do not bid for any project without having everything tied up. Despite that, you will have challenges. Fortunately, in the last 15-18 months, we have done 2GW of capacity in terms of solar and what it has taught us is that you can build a scale in India, but you have very tight control of the supply chain. 

So, you have to look at where the  supply chain is stressed and where the supply chain is reliable and design it appropriately. I think what happened is that in order to drive the efficiency and cost structure through reverse auction, the government brought the tariff to a level where it was no more sustainable. Many players are not even doing projects. Only 10-12GW of projects are getting done every year, whereas we should have been doing 30-40GW. Once the tariff corrects and reflects the cost, it won’t be an issue.

Have your projects been impacted?

We were also impacted because of BCD, because of the GST increase from 5-12%. But fortunately, we have been able to overcome all those challenges because we have several projects which we do for the private sector also C&I (commercial & industrial) customers. We target 20% of our business from the consumers directly.

Do you have plans for taking Avaada public?

Not right now. I think for the next few years, we are looking at remaining private. We are a high-growth company, and there is an abundance of capital even now in the private market. So there are sovereign wealth funds. Now there is a new class of the fund, ESG fund...infra funds. And all these funds are going to access India, US and Europe because those three are very large markets where you can deploy a lot of money. So the capital is not a constraint. I think what investors are looking at is a reliable, stable policy regime and projects where you have derisked them for land, transmission, permits and regulatory risks.

Milestone Alert!
Livemint tops charts as the fastest growing news website in the world 🌏 Click here to know more.

Rituraj Baruah
Rituraj Baruah is a senior correspondent at Mint, reporting on housing, urban affairs, small businesses and energy. He has reported on diverse sectors over the last six years including, commodities and stocks market, insolvency and real estate. He has previous stints at Cogencis Information Services, Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) and Inc42.
Catch all the Elections News, Corporate news and Updates on Live Mint. Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates & Live Business News.
More Less
Updated: 24 Oct 2022, 01:34 AM IST
Next Story footLogo
Recommended For You
Switch to the Mint app for fast and personalized news - Get App