After several years of making losses, Tata Power Solar, the solar cells and modules making arm of the Tata group, seems to be close to turning around.
In 2015-16, a year when its parent company, Tata Power Ltd, infused ₹162 crore of additional equity, Tata Power Solar’s sales rose to 70 per cent from ₹1,489 crore from ₹873 crore in the previous year, and the company pared its net loss to ₹26 crore from ₹114 crore previously.
The year saw a few record developments in the company. For the first time, it achieved 100 per cent capacity utilisation of its solar cell manufacturing unit.
Its exports amounted to ₹165 crore, which, according to the annual report of Tata Power Ltd, was “more than the cumulative value of exports in the previous three years,” and only slightly short of total value of exports in the previous four years.
The reference to the ‘four year’ period is note-worthy, because it was in June 2012 that BP (British Petroleum), Tata Power’s joint venture partner for twenty-five years, exited the company. Furthermore, during the year, Tata Power Solar exited thermal and lighting products businesses.
The parent company, Tata Power Ltd, provided active support to Tata Power Solar. It put in ₹162 crore of equity (on top of ₹23 crore in the previous year,) giving itself 162 lakh additional shares in the subsidiary. During the year, Tata Power Solar’s net assets rose by about ₹90 crore to ₹200 crore.
Completes NTPC job
The current year could be better if only because the Tata Power Solar completed a large, 100 MW EPC job for NTPC Ltd.
The modules were also supplied by the company.
The project, which came under a scheme that mandated power companies to buy only locally made cells and modules (called ‘domestic content requirement’), was booked last year, but completed only in the current year. The company began the current year with orders worth at least 162 MW.