Role of SEZs In Increasing Onsite Solar Capacity of India

The Government of India in the 2000s introduced industrial parks known as Special Economic Zones which would help them enhance foreign investments, boost employment generation, and would provide an internationally competitive export-processing environment. The Central Ministry of Commerce and Industry made it mandatory to have at least 51 per cent of SEZ land as processing area or core industrial area at the places where manufacturing units are located.

Today India has got 213 operating SEZs which could potentially generate up to 1,018 megawatts (MW) of on-site solar power. The data is based on the two years of field assessments showing:

  1. The core industrial areas may have only 50%of the actual factory area (the rest will be for factory infrastructures like the sewage system roads.)
  2. Only 60%of the actual factory area will be built up and functioning
  3. Only 35% of the built area is suitable for on-site solar power

As of May 2018, India had only 1,211 MW of rooftop solar power that were installed across all its sectors. It is only 3% of the target of 40,000MW by 2022. Thus, with this high solar potential, SEZs could help in doubling the installed rooftop solar capacity.

SEZ in Odisha

The Tata Steel SEZ Gopalpur is developing its anchorage ferrochrome plant with the capacity of 55,000 tonnes per in the Ganjam district of Odhisha. The vice-president of project Gopalpur &MD of Tata Steel SEZ Ltd. stated that the Central government had approved the SEZ projectthe ferrochrome plant functioning will result at the beginning of future development of Tata Steel SEZ Gopalpur. Around 20 companies have from UAE, Singapore, and the United Kingdom showed their interest in having units in SEZ. Also, Tata Power proposed investment in two thermal power plants in the region with a vision of fulfilling ‘Make in India’ scheme for promoting its SEZ.

The Anchorage industry of the Tata Steel SEZ Gopalpur, with a worth of 800crores ferrochrome plant, was expected to start its functioning by December 2015. But due to several reasons like power connectivity delayed its inauguration by some months.

As the Tata Steel SEZ Gopalpur ferrochrome plant is located in the coastal region, it would depend on the chemical change of seawater along with rainwater harvesting. This would help them meet the needs of water.

It is anticipated the Tata Steel SEZ Gopalpur will draw Rs 10,000 crore investment to Rs 15,000 crore. More than 10,000 individuals will also get direct and indirect job incentives. The plant is constructed over 2970 acres of land with SEZ over 2570 acres of multi-product, along with Tata Steel’s over 400 acres anchor operation. Tata Steel is considering an investment of crore Rs 800 at the Gopalpur Industrial Park for anchor. This involves investment on a Ferro Chrome project with a strong carbon 55,000 TPA. The Tata Steel SEZ Gopalpur will also have a 1.2 MGD desalination project which will use seawater to fulfill the industrial unit and power plant needs. The project has approval from India’s administration, the Union Ministry of Environment & Forests. Tata Steel is designing the Tata Steel SEZ Gopalpur, to ensure the region’s economic growth.

The Tata Steel SEZ Gopalpur will mainly invest in downstream steel and related manufacturing, electronics, chemicals, and other developing manufacturing. The Tata Steel SEZ Gopalpur also leads to the socio-economic growth of the city together with the significant generation of job opportunities.

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