Borosil Renewables to Invest Rs 500 Cr to Double Solar Glass Manufacturing 

Borosil Renewables has plans for doubling its capacity of solar glass manufacturing to 900 tonnes per day with an investment of Rs 500 crore.

Borosil Renewables, the only domestic manufacturer of solar panel glass, has announced its plans for doubling its capacity to 900 tonnes per day with a planned investment of Rs 500 crore. The renewable venture of the Borosil Group currently has a 450-tonne per day solar panel glass manufacturing capacity at its Baruch plant in Gujarat, which is enough to power 2.5 GW of solar power plants.

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With the brownfield expansion at the Barauch plant in Gujarat, the capacity will jump to 900 tonnes per day or 5 GW of the installable capacity of solar power plants. The new plant, at an investment of Rs 500 crore, should be up and running by July 2022, and this is the second doubling of its capacity in the past five years, Shreevar Kheruka, the managing director of Borosil Group was quoted by local reporters.

The firm is in a unique position not only for being the sole domestic manufacturer of solar panel glasses but also its business is protected from an anti-dumping duty on its only competition i.e. imports and thus not having any price setting power. Since the anti-dumping duty was announced, the firms’ share price has soared around 500 percent from its 52-week low in March 2020.

This is the second doubling of capacity addition in five years after the Rs 235 crore expansion in 2016. Kheruka is hopeful of the company more than doubling the topline in the just concluded FY21 at Rs 500 crore, from Rs 240 crore in FY20, along with a fatter bottomline, which he did not quantify. For the parent Borosil, he expects a flat topline of Rs 600 crore given the loss of business in the first half.

In the solar panel glass business, which is globally controlled by China with around 90 percent market share, Borosil meets 40 percent of the domestic demand of 650 tonnes glasses per day, while the rest is imported from China and Malaysia. Kheruka further told reporters that the company exports almost 20 percent of its present solar panel glass capacity to Europe, with primary focus being Germany, Spain, Portugal Russia and Turkey, and also the US.

Earlier this month, we had reported that the Ministry of Finance had formally notified the levy of countervailing duty (CVD) on the cost, insurance, and freight (CIF) value on the imports of textured and tempered (whether coated or uncoated) glass from Malaysia. The move followed a recommendation from the country’s DGTR (Directorate General of Trade Remedies) in December last year, when it had recommended a 9.71 percent CVD following a complaint by Borosil Renewables.

The firm had filed an application before the DGTR for the imposition of countervailing duty on imports of textured toughened (tempered) glass from Malaysia, alleging that the producers of tempered glass in Malaysia had benefitted from subsidies provided at various levels by the government of Malaysia and other public bodies.

In December 2020, the firm had raised Rs 200 crore by issuing 1.58 crore shares through qualified institutional placement (QIP). 

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