Provide subsidy for BHEL's solar gear unit: Patel

State-owned power equipment maker BHEL should be provided subsidy for setting up an integrated manufacturing facility for solar gear so as to reduce India's dependence on imports in this segment, Heavy Industry Minister Praful Patel said Wednesday.

New Delhi: State-owned power equipment maker BHEL should be provided subsidy for setting up an integrated manufacturing facility for solar gear so as to reduce India's dependence on imports in this segment, Heavy Industry Minister Praful Patel said Wednesday.

"We need to have domestic solar power equipment manufacturers and therefore we wanted Bhel to start. Every solar panel which is made in India is only assembled here, it is sourced from China or Europe and if we have a target of 1,00,000 MW of solar capacity in the next 15 years, we have to manufacture the basic raw material here," Patel said here.

However, the ministry is yet to decide on the quantum of subsidy, he added.

As per the proposal being considered by the Centre, BHEL will set up large manufacturing facility for silicon chips as not a single chip for solar energy is being made in India.

Patel also sought support from the government in form of capital or power subsidy or VGF (viability gap funding) for the central PSU.

"The initial investment envisaged by BHEL in the first phase is Rs 3,000 crore, which does not cover the entire size of the project as the company will eventually scale it up, but the subsidy would be required in the first phase," he said.

Manufacturing of silicon is a very expensive and power consuming project and major cost of project is electricity.

"I am sure they (BHEL) will require capital subsidy or may be even power (tariff) subsidy to some extent for the manufacturing facility," Patel said.

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