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Moser Baer signs MoU with State on setting up photovoltaic plant

R.K. Radhakrishnan

This is the second such facility that will come up at Oragadam

— Photo: S. R. Raghunathan

INVESTOR-FRIENDLY: M.F. Farooqui, Industries Secretary (right), exchanging MoU documents with Deepak Puri, chairman and managing director, Moser Baer India (left) in the presence of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at the Secretariat on Monday. A. Raja, Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology, is in the picture.

CHENNAI: Moser Baer, a world leader in manufacture of removable data storage media, inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the State government on setting up a facility to manufacture silicon-based photovoltaic thin film modules and allied products.

Moser Baer will invest over Rs.2,000 crore in the facility that will come up in the Oragadam high technology Special Economic Zone, said Deepak Puri, Chairman and Managing Director, Moser Baer India.

This is the second such facility that will come up at Oragadam. In March, the government had signed an MoU with Signet Solar for manufacturing photovoltaic thin film modules.

“With the establishment of this facility of Moser Baer, Chennai will consolidate its position as the leader in the manufacture of electronic hardware and emerge as the preferred centre for the manufacture of photovoltaic thin film modules,” an official release stated.

Karunanidhi’s interest

High technology interests the Chief Minister, as it would provide livelihood to many and retain bright, young people in the State. His interest in the project stemmed from the fact that it would provide direct and indirect employment to 3,000 people. Mr. Karunanidhi aims to create a million jobs in the State in the shortest possible time. He asked Mr. Puri when Moser Baer would lay the foundation stone.

“I told him that as soon as we are given the land papers…We are prepared to do it even today or tomorrow,” Mr. Puri told The Hindu. There is one small formality though: Moser Baer has to pay for the land and then the transfer would be done. “It will take a few days after they make the payment,” said an Industries Department official.

Mr. Puri, who shares with the Chief Minister the need for a quick launch of the facility, said “optimistically, ground-breaking will be in June, and, if not, latest by July.”

The plant would start production within a year after that, said G.rajeswaran, president and CTO, Moser Baer Photo Voltaic Ltd, India.

Union Minister for Communications and Information Technology A. Raja, said that the Moser Baer team had first approached his Ministry to set up their facility in India. “When they met me, they told me that they were looking at south India. I told them to visit the four States, take a decision and come back to me. They chose Tamil Nadu.”

Once the choice was made, Moser Baer executives met Industries Department Secretary M.F.Farooqui with their proposal. “We began looking around in August-September and were clear about our location by early this year,” Mr. Puri said and commended way the government worked. “I went to many other States…We got the most overwhelming response here,” he added.

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