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Moser Baer bets on US, Japan, China for solar business boost

According to reports, Moser Baer, one the largest solar cell manufacturer in the country, feels that the future is bright for solar PV industry as new markets would bring in strong demand even though the industry is presently battling demand supply imbalance and falling demand fronm the European region.

Strong upcoming demand from new markets such as the US, China, Japan and India are expected to drive the next phase of growth in the global solar industry. During January-June period, worldwide PV installations were up nine per cent year-on-year to reach 15 gigawatt on account of strong demand from Japan, China and the US during this period.

Since early 2013, the operating environment for PV manufacturers has begun to show signs of positive traction on account of consolidation amongst the tier II and tier III players and higher demand from emerging markets such as Japan, China and the US. PV module prices are showing signs of stabilising, reflecting some restoration of the global demand-supply balance. This improved market environment is resulting in improvement in capacity utilisation levels, especially for the global tier I manufacturers amid high demand from the US, China and Japan markets, said the latest annual report of Moser Baer India (MBIL).

“Though it may appear that the short term PV market is challenged due to the prevalent demand supply imbalance and waning demand from the European markets, the future outlook remains promising on account of strong emergence of the new markets,” Deepak Puri, chairman of the company said in the report.

“While the short term industry environment remains challenging, the long term potential remains intact and signs of recovery appear to be on the horizon with price declines tapering off from the start of 2013 and increase in utilisation levels especially amongst the global tier I players,” he added.

In FY12-13, Moser Baer’s PV business was impacted by the dreary global scenario of oversupply and price falls that resulted in a significant drop in capacity utilisation and resultantly in severe liquidity and working capital constraints. Its manufacturing was limited to the module line, which was operated at low capacity utilisation levels. However, the market focus was shifted to the high value added regions such as Japan, which helped improve unit margins.

It may be recalled that corporate debt restructuring (CDR) scheme of Moser Baer India and its PV companies has been approved and is under implementation. A debt of Rs 2,370 crore for Moser Baer India, Rs 865 crore for Moser Baer Photovoltaic and Rs 1,035 crore for Moser Baer Solar have been restructured.

With the implementation of CDR, the company expects to ramp up module production and PV systems business. Moser Baer claims leadership position in the Indian solar EPC space with over 250 MW projects installed till date.

In FY13, MBIL reported gross sales of Rs 1,546 crore (as against Rs 2,128 crore in FY12) and net loss of Rs 46 crore (as against Rs 32 crore loss in FY12).

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