OPINION PIECE

We are looking at international markets for expanding our exports: Saibaba Vutukuri, CEO, Vikram Solar

In his first exclusive interview, Kolkata-based clean energy firm Vikram Solar’s newly-appointed Chief Executive Officer Saibaba Vutukuri tells ETEnergyWorld that they are planning to expand exports in the international markets and are already getting orders from the US. Edited excerpts:

Vikram Solar has 1,200 MW domestic manufacturing capacity. Are there any plans to expand that capacity?

We have a special economic zone (SEZ) in Kolkata and the 1.2 gigawatt (GW) capacity of the firm is spread across two units in the same SEZ. We are planning to set-up one more unit in the southern or western part of india. Basically, we are looking at additional capacity for manufacturing of solar cells.

For the new unit, initially, we are looking at a capacity of 500 megawatt (MW) for solar cells and about 1,000 MW for module manufacturing. We have not concluded on the exact capacities as of now. The plan is in the discussion stage at present. We have not completed the exercise. Discussions are on related to which technologies to use, what should be the final capacities and where to locate the unit, etc. That entire discussion is still on but we are seriously considering it. As far as the investment is concerned, we might do it in phases. Probably, to start with, we may invest in some capacity of cells and some capacity of modules.

There were a few reports recently stating that the company has opted for layoffs. What really happened?

We are only adjusting the production capacities in the different phases of expansion that we have done and have consolidated it to one single unit now so that we get economy of scale. We have offered voluntary retirement and while some employees have taken it, others have chosen to stay back and we are using them in the next unit.

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