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BHEL To Invest Rs.2,000 Cr. In Solar Gear Making Plant

State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., or BHEL, plans to pump in up to Rs.2,000 crore for setting up solar equipment manufacturing facility having a capacity of 600 MW, reports said, quoting CMD B.P. Rao.

He said, "Initial investment could be around Rs.500-Rs.600 crore and then when we can expand it. Overall investment can go up to Rs.2,000 crore for a 600 MW capacity."

BHEL's move to enter into solar equipment manufacturing comes at a time when the import of cheap solar gears, especially from China, as well as overcapacity are hurting the Indian players. The company is betting on business diversification spread across various areas including solar energy and defense sectors.

"Initially, we are going to concentrate on the module production, which is the end product. Later, we will manufacture solar cells and (other) materials," Rao said.

The company will also get into manufacturing silicon wafer, solar cell and solar module.

Meanwhile, the company is pitching for safeguard duty on imported solar equipment to protect domestic makers from cheap imports. Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, the parent of BHEL, is likely to take up the same with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy.

According to BHEL, solar equipment from some countries are coming into India at prices lower than their market value. Currently, there is no customs duty on imported solar power equipment.

The company has an existing order book of Rs.1.30 lakh crore.

BHEL is betting on business diversification spread across various areas including solar energy and defense sectors.

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