Vikram Solar plans 3 GW solar factory in Tamil Nadu

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Kolkata-based Vikram Solar has signed a memorandum of understanding with the government of Tamil Nadu to set up a 3 GW solar wafer, cell and module manufacturing facility in the state. 

The PV project engineering, procurement and construction services contractor said the manufacturing set-up would be developed over five years.

The latest solar manufacturing announcement follows news Haryana-based developer Renew Power intends to start manufacturing cells and modules in India and comes amid a recent recommendation by the government’s Directorate-General of Trade Remedies that the safeguarding duty leveled on imported cells and modules be extended for another year. Renew said it planned to invest Rs1,500-2,000 crore in its new facility, which would initially boast a 2 GW annual manufacturing capacity. The developer said it was in talks with state authorities about where to develop the fab.

The factory plans also come weeks after prime minister Narendra Modi called for Indian companies to become more self-sufficient.

India, the world’s third largest solar market, imports almost 80% of its PV cells and modules from China.

To strengthen domestic manufacturing, “the government of India is committed to providing handholding and security to Indian manufacturing companies – providing long-term investment security policies,” said minister of state for finance and corporate affairs Anurag Thakur. “It plans to impose 20% basic customs duty on solar components to be able to provide a springboard to the domestic manufacturing sector in renewable energy.” The minister was speaking at an event about AatmaNirbhar Bharat-Renewable Energy Manufacturing organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry.