Rahimafrooz to assemble solar panels soon
Rahimafrooz Renewable Energy Ltd (RRE) is set to start production of the country’s first solar panel assembling plant in Dhaka to serve the domestic need with solar home systems as their demand increases gradually amid severe power crunch.
“The solar panel assembling plant of a yearly capacity of 18 megawatt with an investment of Tk 400 million (40 crore) at Ashulia will start production by next May-June as per our plan,” RRE General Manager Sohel Ahmed told the FE recently.
He said the country will be able to save foreign currency, consumers will get solar panels at a lower price and the power supply will be smoother once these are manufactured in Bangladesh.
Bangladesh intends to add five per cent of the total electricity from renewable energy sources by 2015 and 10 per cent by 2020 to its power grid.
American company Spire Corporation will provide technological assistance in assembling solar photovoltaic manufacturing equipment, said Mr Ahmed, also head of business of RRE, a concern of Tk 15 billion Rahimafrooz Group.
Spire is the leading supplier in the design and manufacture of specialised equipment for producing photovoltaic solar modules, high quality photovoltaic systems and components.
“Spire will support us with their latest technology in manufacturing the best quality solar panels that we used to import at a higher cost than any other panels in the market. Now we will manufacture those panels in our plant with their technical knowledge, technology and support,” said Mr Ahmed.
At present most of the solar panels are imported from China the quality of which is not up to the mark all the time, said Mr Ahmed.
“That’s why we are importing state-of-the-art technology for manufacturing solar panels for the first time in Bangladesh,” he added.
The use of solar home systems has been increasing fast both in urban and the off-grid areas of rural Bangladesh backed by 22 to 24 NGOs that enjoy re-finance facility from state-run Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (IDCOL), which promotes renewable energy development.
RRE has been engaged in distributing solar systems for the last few years through its non-profit organisation Rural Services Foundation.