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Solar glass maker sees fossil fuel crunch boosting renewables

‘The sense of urgency to install renewables is very high, and solar is perhaps the easiest and simplest,’ Executive Chairman Pradeep Kheruka said.
Image: Bloomberg

Borosil Renewables, India’s top solar glass maker, is planning a more than five-fold jump in production on expectations that soaring global fuel prices will accelerate a shift to renewables.

“The sense of urgency to install renewables is very high, and solar is perhaps the easiest and simplest,” Executive Chairman Pradeep Kheruka said Friday in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

Borosil currently produces about 450 tons of solar glass a day and plans to expand output to 2,500 tons a day, including through its recently completed acquisition of Interfloat Group, the largest European manufacturer.

Extreme weather conditions in some nations, combined with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have led to a global squeeze in supplies of fossil fuels, and sent prices of oil, natural gas and coal soaring. “That’s pushing the business forwards and upwards significantly,” as consumers look to replace fuel imports with new clean energy projects, according to Kheruka.

Increasing use of bifacial solar modules, which require glass on both sides of the panel, will also result in higher consumption, he said.

Rising demand in India — where imports currently account for about 65% of solar glass, with Borosil supplying almost all the remainder — is expected to draw more producers into the market. Borosil should maintain its market share in the nation at about 40% even as competitors arrive by lifting production, Kheruka said.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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