Vikram Solar mulls module capacity expansion and cell production partnership in India

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India-based PV module manufacturer, Vikram Solar, has said it is evaluating its next module capacity expansion plans as well as a new joint venture to establish solar cell production with a major existing producer.

Vikram Solar, according to PV Tech’s analysis has an existing PV module nameplate capacity of approximately 150MW, which it said it was considering expanding by a further 200MW to reach a cumulative capacity of 350MW by the second quarter of 2015. 

In a more bold move, Vikram Solar said that a second phase expansion could result in cumulative module capacity reaching 600MW (250MW incremental) by the fourth quarter of 2015. 

However, the most significant part of the expansion was a mooted joint venture with “global cell players” to establish its first solar cell production facility with a nameplate capacity of 250MW. The timeline for the cell plant was said to be planned for the first quarter of 2016.

Vikram Solar noted that India is experiencing increased demand for solar cells. 

PV Tech recently reported that Trina Solar is expected to announce its first PV manufacturing plant outside of China. Management said during its third quarter earnings call that it had been negotiating with an unidentified third party “strategic partner” to establish a joint venture manufacturing operation in Southeast Asia, but also noted that it was specifically evaluating establishing production plants in the US and India

However, other candidates would include the likes of ReneSola, which already has OEM manufacturing partnerships in India, as well as JinkoSolar, which has openly said that India would be a key emerging market for the company. 

However, many PV manufacturers are considering or have already established partnerships in respect to solar cell production due to the relatively higher capital requirements for establishing solar cell production lines, compared with module assembly lines. 

Vikram Solar reiterated that it had been manufacturing monocrystalline and polycrystalline modules, ranging from 5Wp to 300Wp since 2009.

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