However India’s biggest capital good equipment company BHEL owned by the government is plannning a $500 million investment to build a solar cell factory in at Sakoli which is part Union heavy industries minister Praful Patel’s constituency Bhandara.Talk about how dumb you can get. BHEL hardly has too much expertise in the solar panel industry and with solar cells in massive oversupply,it is almost sure to lose money. However that is how things work with Indian government companies where investment is made at the whims of ministers rather than rationality and business sense.BHEL is currently trading at one of the lowest valuations in its 10 year history and its not a big wonder why. The company has benefited in the past as did other machinery and engineering companies from an infrastructure invesment boom. However those glory days are over for the company as it faces competition from the Chinese companies and decreasing orders flow. Praful Patel the minister has already spent a few years in the airline ministry presiding over the conversion of the state owned carrier Air India ino a basket case. Now its the turn of BHEL to be turned into a basket case as well.
Solar Power in India is increasing at a rapid pace and will become one of the biggest energy industries in the next decade as falling costs of solar energy and India’s rising demand makes it a perfect match.Solar Companies in India are constanly growing by the day as firms rush in to take advantage of the vast investment and profit potential in India’s Solar Energy Market.BHEL which is India’s largest Capitals Good Company has big solar ambitions.BHEL has strong capabilities in the field of making electricity generating equipment.Extending these capabilities in the field of solar power generation is a natural extension.It is following the JV route with various other Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) like HPCL,BEL and IOC to build power plants and solar equipment factories in the country.Most of these JVs have been dormant till now but the JV with BEL is now looking to move on.The JV is scouting for sites to build a 250 MW integrated c-Si Solar Factory which will also have India’s first polysilicon and wafer manufacturing operations.Note India has a large capacity of solar cells and modules but does not have a commercial solar wafer or poly plant which are essential raw materials for making Solar Panels.Till now Solar Panels in India are made from imported Solar Wafers from companies like LDK,GCL,REC,Solarworld and others.There are a few private companies who are looking to set up upstream manufacturing in solar as well.Note there are other Indian government owned PSUs which too are looking to enter Solar Energy Industry as well