At a time when most domestic solar manufacturers are struggling with idle capacity in the face of cheap solar cells and modules being imported from China, Noida-based Jakson Group is setting up a greenfield solar plant in a seemingly contrarian decision.
It is investing Rs 650-700 crore in a new plant in Gujarat that will have a capacity of 1,000 MW of solar modules and 250 MW of solar cells in three years, Jakson Group CMD Sameer Gupta said. “We’ve identified the plots where the the plant will be based and expect to have 500 MW of module manufacturing capacity up and running by June 2018, reaching our full capacity by mid-2020,” he told ET.
The firm, which has a small 70 MW manufacturing plant in Greater Noida at present, is confident about competing with Chinese imports. “The cost difference between the modules we make at Jakson and Chinese ones is not more than 2%,” Gupta said.
Prices of Chinese solar cells and modules have dropped steeply in the last two years, but Gupta does not think they will do so any further. “Prices fell because of overproduction in China, but now Chinese demand is picking up,” he said.
“China has shut down $350 billion worth of coal-fired power plants and is investing in renewable energy, so demand in China is bound to keep rising, which in turn will raise prices of solar equipment too,” Gupta said. “Already, in the last three months, the cost of Chinese modules has gone up from around 28-29 cents per watt to 31-32 cents.”