Public sector electronics and telecom gear maker ITI Limited plans around Rs 150 crore investment to scale up its solar panel manufacturing capacity to 90 MW in the next fiscal, a top company official said. The company, which plans to raise Rs 1,600 crore through a follow-on public offer (FPO), has a solar panel capacity of 18 MW currently.
“Given the kind of demand we are witnessing in the solar space, especially in the rooftop segment, from corporates and commercial establisments as well as the state governments, we want to be ready to tap that opportunity,” the company’s Chairman and Managing Director R M Agarwal told PTI. He said the company will be investing Rs 150 crore for scaling up the capacity, which it hopes to get from the budget allocated to the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications.
The company is expecting at least Rs 500 crore from the government in the next fiscal for meeting its various capital expenditure (capex) requirements. The company has a solar panel manufacturing facility at Naini in Uttar Pradesh.
When asked if the company would utilise the funds raised through the FPO for the capacity enhancement in case the funds from the government do not come, he said, “The FPO proceeds will have to be used towards partial repayment of loans, funding our working capital requirements and general purpose. For our capex, we will have to wait for the ministry to release the funds.” Agarwal further said the company is banking on capacities tendered by discoms in various states to supply its panels as well as to set up rooftop projects on turnkey basis, along with the expected projects under the national solar mission.
The company has executed various turnkey orders for Bharatnet, telecom towers, and Uttar Pradesh police headquarters. ITI has also deployed 15 MW solar power project for the Solar Energy Corporation of India. According to industry estimates, as of September 2019, cumulative installed solar capacity in India stood at 33.8 GW, of which rooftop solar installations crossed 4 GW.
Apart from solar panels, the company is also focusing on manufacturing of LED-based products like LED solar lantern and LED street lights for rural use and LED tube lights and decorative indoor lights for grid connected applications.―Devdiscourse