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Moser Baer Photo Voltaic (MBPV), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Moser Baer India, has picked up 40% stake in Slovenia-based Solarvalue Proizvodnja d.d. MBPV would acquire the stake from Germany-based Solarvalue AG, which currently holds 100% stake in the Slovenian company involved in solar silicon production.

Given the global demand-supply imbalance of silicon, the new investment would guarantee MBPV an assured supply of high-grade solar wafers. “The total value of investment stands at $10 million, of which $6 million is the initial commitment, and the balance investment is based on certain milestones,” Moser Baer CFO Yogesh Mathur said.

MBPV is in the process of setting up a photo voltaic (PV) cell and module manufacturing project with an 80MW capacity in India’s first renewable energy SEZ at Greater Noida. It has already concluded trials for 40MW capacity and hopes to commission another 40MW by the second half of next fiscal. The company’s foray into the business comes at a time when the global PV space is expected to grow five-fold to Rs 135,000 crore by 2010. “This investment gives us an assured supply of solar grade polysilicon, a key raw material for slicon-based photovoltaic project. At present, there is a shortage of polysilicon because of the high demand. While the raw material for the first 40MW is tied up through spot buying and medium-term supply contracts, the new investment is aimed at tying up the raw material requirements for the next phase of 40MW,” Mr Mathur said.

Solarvalue plans to set up a capacity of over 4,000 tonnes of solar grade silicon by end of 2008. With the acquisition MBPV now has a supply agreement for 40% of the output of the solar grid polysilicon project.

MBPV has so far picked up equity positions in California-based nanotechnology start-up Stion Corporation; and in two solar concentrator technology firms Solaria and SolFocus.

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