CETC (India), a subsidiary of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, March 15, to mark the start of construction on the first phase of its 200 MW solar PV cell manufacturing facility in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh (AP).
The plant, which will be built over 18 acres in the Domestic Tariff Zone (DTZ), at an initial investment of around INR 3.2 billion (US$49.28 million), is expected to commence solar cell production by the end of 2019.
A source, who did not wish to be named, told pv magazine that both standard aluminum back surface field (Al-BSF) polycrystalline solar cells and passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) monocrystalline cells will be produced at the facility.
The source would not divulge any further details, and a Sri city official also told pv magazine that it is too soon to reveal any other information.
In a press statement, CETC did say that employment opportunities will be created for up to 300 people in the first phase, while around 1,500 jobs are expected to be created overall.
Liu Liehong, General Manager, CEO, CETC, broke the ground and laid the foundation stone, alongside J. Krishna Kishore, CEO, Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) and Secretary to the Government of Andhra Pradesh, and Ravindra Sannareddy, founder and MD, Sri City.
Stating that among the various sites surveyed, “Sri City was the best,” Liehong said the facility will be commissioned within 18 to 20 months, and sought the support of the state government in getting all approvals on time. “We look forward to work hand in hand with Sri City and AP government,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Kishore mentioned that AP is building an integrated system of electronics manufacturing in the country, and CETC’s investment will be a mutually rewarding partnership between China and India.
He said, “Solar industry continues to see strong growth in India, especially when India recently concluded the International Solar Alliance (ISA). CETC establishing this facility in AP to be close to its customers in this growing, leading-edge market.”
Stating that it is the first major investment by a Chinese Government-owned company in the state, Sannareddy said, “This will be the 6th Chinese company in Sri City, and we are very happy to have yet another major unit in the renewable energy sector. CETC’s entry to Sri City assumes greater significance, as it would help boost solar power production capacity in the country.”
He continued, “We are particularly happy because, we are hosting such a project, which may help boost India’s local solar power production capacity and deliver a significant invigoration for achieving the target of 100GW of solar PV capacity by 2022.”
Sri City also signed several renewable memorandum’s of understanding (MoUs) at last month’s CII Partnership Summit, also held in Andhra Pradesh.