First AP Fab unit is ready

Hyderabad, Jan. 5: The first manufacturing unit of solar semiconductor photovoltaic cells in the Fab city is ready to be inaugurated.  The Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, is keen to have the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to dedicate the unit to the nation as Andhra Pradesh was the first to take the initiative to set up such a unit.

Solar Semiconductor Private Limited completed the unit with an investment of Rs 650 crore.  Three more units taken by by XL Telecom, KSK Energy, SemIndia-AT&T and Surana FAB — each with investment to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore — are in different stages of completion.

“We have already allotted 600 acres out of 1,000 acres to 23 companies and by the end of 2009 the investments will be worth more than Rs 1,000 crore,” said the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) managing director, Mr B.P. Acharya.  After the initial experiment with SemIndia promoter, Mr Vinod Agarwal, turned out to be controversial, the Chief Minister handed over the project to APIIC which then allotted land to the semiconductor units.

The completed unit would manufacture 120 MW modular line and 60 MW photovoltaic cell.  “There is a huge demand for renewable energy sources like solar semiconductors,” said the vice-president of Solar Semiconductor Private Limited, Mr S.S.N. Prasad. “We are expecting a business turnover of Rs 2,500 crore by the year end.”

Mr Prasad said facilities worth Rs 250 crore, which includes built up space of 1.6 lakh sq ft, was created in just eight months. “The company has submitted plans to take up immediate expansion with Rs 400 crore,” he added.

The special secretary, Central department of Information Technology, recently visited the FAB city and expressed satisfaction over the progress.

Mr K. Vasudevarao, executive director, XL Telecom and Energy, said the global demand for solar semiconductors is increasing by 40 per cent every year. XL Telecom and Energy’s unit is expected to start in March this year. He claimed that the company had orders to the tune of$ 2 billion from Europe and the United States for the next three years.