New solar glass factory to come up in India

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Asahi India Glass has partnered with Ahmedabad-based Vishakha Group to set up India’s largest solar glass plant at Mundra in the Indian State of Gujarat. The factory, a greenfield project, would initially have a manufacturing capacity for up to 3 GW of solar installation per annum. 

The plant is expected to be commissioned within 18-24 months.

AIS will take a minority stake in the solar glass business. 

Vishakha Group is one of the largest manufacturers of flexible polymer packaging in India. It also manufactures other key components in the entire solar panel value chain, including solar backsheets, EVA encapsulant sheets, and aluminum frames for solar modules.

Asahi India Glass has become the second player after New Delhi-headquartered Gold Plus Glass Industry (Gold Plus) to foray into solar glass manufacturing this year. 

Currently, Borosil Renewables is the only solar glass manufacturer in the country. It has a factory at Bharuch in Gujarat, meeting about 40% of India’s solar glass requirement. Imports meet the balance of demand. With rising sales, it is also expanding its capacity from 450 tons per day to 950 tons per day by adding a third solar glass line of 500 tons per day along with processing facilities. 

The announcements for capacity additions come as a surge in solar installations in India is driving huge demand for solar power equipment/panels and solar glass.

As part of its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, India has now embarked on an ambitious target of generating 450 GW of renewable energy by the year 2030. 

Sanjay Labroo, managing director and chief executive officer of Asahi India Glass Ltd (AIS), said: “Although a different market segment, solar glass is still an adjacent business to the existing businesses of AIS. We are delighted to partner with the Vishakha group in their vision of creating the entire ecosystem and value chain for indigenizing solar energy generation in India.” 

Jigish Doshi, Chairman of Vishakha Group, said: “India has been one of the few nations that have accelerated its global commitment towards climate change and we intend to do our part to achieve the renewable energy target. The joint venture into solar glass manufacturing will support the “Atmanirbhar Bharat” initiative of the Government of India, contribute to achieving energy independence and lead to massive job creation in the Gujarat region…We plan to complement the technical expertise and experience of AIS with synergies from our other businesses in the entire solar value chain”. 

Asahi India Glass is India’s leading integrated glass company engaged in the production and delivery of next-generation glass products and solutions to retail and institutional customers. A dominant player in automotive and architectural glass segments, it provides end-to-end solutions across the entire value chain in both these segments – from the manufacturing of float glass to glass processing, fabrication, and installation. It commands about a 72% share in the Indian passenger car glass market.

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