- Surana Solar is targeting to increase its installed solar module manufacturing capacity to 500 MW
- The fully automated line is likely to come online by Q1/2023, according to the company’s timeline
- Company may consider exploring TOPCon technology in the future along with venturing into cell production
Part of diversified business conglomerate Surana Group of Hyderabad, Surana Solar Limited has an installed solar PV module manufacturing capacity of 250 MW which is semi-automatic, and now it aims to expand to 500 MW with a fully automated line, the team told TaiyangNews at Renewable Energy Expo India (REI) 2022.
The company representatives expect the additional planned capacity to come online in Q1/2023. Currently it produces multi-, mono-, mono-PERC, bifacial solar modules. Going by the market scenario, the company may explore TOPCon technology and even cell manufacturing in the distant future.
Senior Vice President of Surana Solar, Sanjay Sanghi lauded the government efforts to steer the country into limelight with its focus on solar PV technology. However, he wishes there wouldn’t be so many abrupt changes in the policy framework.
“While I stand with the government when it comes to the progressive policy intent, I do feel the changes brought in could have been smoother. For instance, safeguard duty imposition was too rushed a decision. It didn’t give the industry a chance to prepare beforehand,” explained Sanghi.
Safeguard duty was followed by the Basic Customs Duty (BCD) that imposes 40% duty on imported modules and 25% on imported cells and was announced a year in advance but it was not thought through (see India Imposes Basic Customs Duty On Cells & Modules).
There is a limited supply of locally produced solar cells and the manufacturers are booked for months ahead, added Sanghi. He said, “With such a limited supply of solar cells, imposing BCD on imported cells is not helping either module manufacturing or installations to grow which defeats the overall purpose. The bigger companies will still be able to survive the blow, it is the smaller players who will be suffering on the frontline.”
On what the government can do differently, Sanghi recommends ensuring ease of transition for the industry instead of taking rushed decisions. “I say have at least 20 cell manufacturers operating in India before blocking a path to get imported cell supply,” added Sanghi.