India: RenewSys starts cell, module manufacturing with Solar Semiconductor acquisition

A "fair market price" was paid for Solar Semiconductor, says Rajesh Singh, senior general manager of operations at RenewSys, declining to go into specifics. The acquisition was completed on July 22.

"The company has planned to offer its full module making capacity to OEM customers for contract manufacturing, primarily for exports," read a seperate statement, issued by the company.

While current manufacturing capacity at the facility in Hyderbad is 30 MW and 100 MW for cells and modules, respectively, Singh tells pv magazine the plan is to order a 100 MW cell line, and double module capacity to 200 MW before the year end. Cell production is also scheduled to begin this year.

Roth & Rau supplied the cell lines, while Komax USA delivered the module line equipment. "Discussions on new equipment are ongoing with some well-known European and U.S manufacturers," he adds.

Regarding customers, Singh says there is "considerable interest" in its crystalline silicon solar cells from the company’s existing EVA/backsheet customers. Meanwhile, module capacity is being "fully utilized to contract manufacture for export."

Commenting on why RenewSys, based in Bengaluru, is focusing on the export market, when its domestic solar market is currently so strong, Singh explains, "We are already the major supplier and, in a few cases, the sole supplier for TUV/UL certified encapsulants and backsheets in India, and growing. We expect to achieve the same status in cells as well once the capacities are installed.

"We therefore need to keep expanding our customer base. There seems to be a good opportunity for exports of good quality solar components as well as modules, which we would like to exploit. Exports will moreover help us not having all our eggs in one basket."

RenewSys has sales offices in London, Dubai, Johannesburg and Nigeria. It has also established a PV R&D facility in India. Meanwhile, its parent company, the Enpee Group, has manufacturing experience in the UAE and Nigeria. Singh says these last two markets, in addition to other regions, are of interest, with RenewSys considering new locations "as the opportunities present themselves."