For the first time in West Bengal, Bhaskar Silicon Private Ltd, promoted by Kolkata based Environ Energy Tech Services, is expected to start operation of its polysilicon and wafer-processing facility in West Bengal’s industrial township Haldia in 2011. The unit will make 2,500 tonnes of polysilicon per annum capable of generating 250 MW (mega-watt) of solar power.
“The total investment will be around Rs.3,000 crore, for both the polysilicon and solar module plant. We have already got physical possession of 200 acres at Haldia in East Midnapore district,” Jyoti Poddar, chief executive of Environ Energy and managing director of Bhaskar Silicon Ltd said at a press conference.
He said: “The construction work at the site is on and we will commence production at the unit by September-October 2011.”
“There are altogether 27 companies across India, of which six are operational in West Bengal, which are into the business of manufacturing solar cells and modules. But these companies are merely assemblers, who procure the basic material, the silicon wafer, through outsourcing. Since there are very few players who are present in polysilicon and wafer-manufacturing sector, we mostly import polysilicon and wafer from different countries like Germany, the United States and Japan. We must develop our own capacity to manufacture these components required for solar power generation if we want to be an energy sufficient nation.
The potential of producing solar power is huge in the country, especially after the declaration of prime minister’s National Solar Mission (NSM). West Bengal has already played a major role in generating solar power along with other states like Hyderabad and Karnataka.
Presently the target of India’s solar power generation is 20,000 MW by 2020. To meet this demand, India needs an average of about 2,000 MW annual installation of solar from 2010. It will also create a demand for polysilicon to 20,000 tonne per annum from 2010.
A recent estimate showed that India imports about 4,000 TPA of polysilicon and wafers.