Borosil Renewables, the sole domestic manufacturer of solar panel glass, is doubling its capacity to 900 tonnes per day with an investment of Rs 500 crore, a top company official has said.
The city-based company, a part of the Borosil Group that is the market leader in laboratory glasses and other consumer glasses, currently has a 450-tonne per day solar panel glass capacity at its Baruch plant, which is enough to power 2.5 GW of solar power plants.
With the brownfield expansion at the Barauch plant in Gujarat, the capacity will jump to 900 tonnes per day or 5 GW of 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, told .
Kheruka, who last month was enlisted into the World Economic Forum’s young global leaders list for 2021, said the solar panel glass business was loss making for long and it was only in the recent months it has turned around.
Borosil Renewables 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–imports and thus not having any price setting power. Since the anti-dumping duty was slapped its share price has soared around 500 per cent from its 52-week low in March 2020.
Kheruka said, for the company, was earlier known as Gujarat Borosil, this is the second doubling of capacity addition in five years after the Rs 235 crore expansion in 2016.
He 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.
Borosil manufactures around 600 consumer and laboratory glass products at its Jaipur, Nashik, Pune and Tarapur plants.
In the solar panel glass business, which is globally controlled by China with around 90 per cent market share, Borosil meets 40 per cent of the domestic demand of 650 tonnes glasses per day, while the rest is imported from China and Malaysia.
Kheruka said the company exports almost 20 per cent of its present solar panel glass capacity to Europe, with primary focus being Germany, Spain, Portugal Russia and Turkey, and also the US.
The Borosil Group, founded in 1962 in collaboration with Corning Glass of the US, comprises two publicly listed entities–Borosil Ltd and Borosil Renewables Ltd, is into laboratory glass products and solar panel glass and is a dominant player in both segments. In 1988, Corning sold back its shares to the current promoters.