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JA Solar, Essel Set to Begin Building Solar Cell, Module Plants

According to reports, JA Solar Holdings Co., a Chinese solar manufacturer, and Essel Infraprojects Ltd. plan to begin construction of a 500-megawatt solar-cell factory in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh in December, followed later by a module plant of a similar size.

Construction follows the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Essel Infraprojects, the infrastructure arm of Essel Group, and Shanghai-based JA Solar during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s trip to China in May.

Applications for a parcel of land have been made, Essel Infraprojects Chief Executive Officer Ashok Agarwal said in an email.

The company plans to set up the manufacturing plant at the Sri City Industrial Park in Andhra Pradesh. Construction of the $150 million cell-making facility is expected to take a year.

A 500-megawatt module-manufacturing plant will follow, with completion expected by the first half of 2017, Agarwal said. Additional investment will be made, the executive added, without providing details.

India’s prime minister aims to install 100 gigawatts of solar capacity in India by 2022. The country has 4 gigawatts at the moment.

India has total installed capacity to make 1,328 megawatts of solar cells and 2,523 megawatts of modules annually, according to an Aug. 13 presentation to parliament.

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