Borosil Renewables Ltd, a company into manufacturing of Solar glass used in solar panel has seen its share price soaring. And there is always a reason behind why something happens. I will try to explain the reason in this blog “Borosil Renewables Ltd- What is causing the share price surge?”
Borosil Renewables is a part of Borosil group, known much more for its glass kitchenware brand. I am sure you must have heard of the brand name. Having expertise in glass manufacturing, the group ventured into Solar glass manufacturing in 2010 with lot of enthusiasm through their earlier listed entity called Gujarat Borosil. But things went only southwards.
In one of the interviews with Bloombergquint, the Executive Chairman(P R Kheruka) of the company candidly said:
Last 11 years have been very challenging. The company only turned profitable in 2016. “Before that we were just filling in the hole we had dug for ourselves which had all come from dumping by China or Chinese-owned companies”.
Now, things are looking positive for the company and the entire Solar glass industry. Solar glass prices have doubled in China whereas in India it now stands at ₹160-170 per sq mt compared to 98 per sq mt for many years, a significant increase.
The share price rise is not just limited to Borosil Renewables but also to the Chinese manufacturers of Solar glass.
How does Solar Panel work?
Solar panel which is used to convert solar rays into DC power consists of 6 main parts among which Solar glass is an important component. In the case of bifacial solar panels i.e. solar panels with 2 solar glass surface, the backsheet(in Fig.1) gets replaced by solar glass. The sunlight enters the panel through Solar glass and this glass also acts as a shield against weather. So, obviously, Solar glass should offer low reflection, high strength & high transmissivity(increases the power yield). Bifacial solar panel increases the life of the panel from 25 to 40 years as well as increases power output.
Are solar glasses similar to regular glass we use?
Solar glass is manufactured with lower iron content and produces a much clearer glass structure with no green tint visible through the glass. It has a higher light transmittance of over 90% vs 83% for regular glass, which as a result increases the module conversion rate.
Solar Glass Industry
According to the management of Borosil Renewables, the demand for Solar glass in India stands at 650TPD. Of which 60% is met with imports (Malaysia+China) and 40% of the market is with Borosil Renewables(Only manufacturer of solar glass in India).
Chinese and Malaysian manufacturer(mostly Chinese manufacturer manufacturing in Malaysia), get lot of govt subsidies which lowers their cost of production. Indian manufacturers or any other manufacturer without any short of subsidy are not able to compete with them on price. That’s explains why Borosil Renewables have been applying for various kind of duties to safeguard the domestic industry(their margins).
Countries such as China, Malaysia & Vietnam have duties on imports of solar glass to their country. But they are free to export to India.
Imports of components used in solar industry has increased as India launched its ambitious national solar policy named Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission in January 2010.
With the current govt, trying to protect the domestic industry from unfair competition is putting in several kind of duties. Also there is a push towards more and more products being manufactured in India to be used in Solar Panels.
Also, the imposition of various duties to safeguard the domestic industry, the domestic manufacturing will certainly increase. There are some schemes running that mandates solar panel to be made in India.
Now, let us look at where China stands in the larger scheme of things.
China has the market share of 80% in the global solar panel production capacity. They are also a leader in terms of setting up their own solar capacity. China has a total solar power capacity of 240GW and it added 40GW in the CY2020. To give you a perspective, India’s total Solar power capacity stood at 37GW in 2020 i.e. China adds a India every year in terms of new solar capacity. But India is also catching up by set an ambitious target of reaching 100GW of Solar Power by 2022.
The industry is asset intensive with Revenue to Asset turnover (Fixed Asset Turnover of 1:1).
Glass production is a continuous process that cannot stop for years, it requires a stable sales channel before building up any capacities.
Lets look at the supply side of solar glass business.
In 2018, with the energy intensive and polluting glass industry facing over-capacity issues, China’s government forbade companies from adding new production capacity. That has led to supply constraint.
With China entering Solar energy segment in a huge way has rendered companies in other countries uncompetitive. As a result, it has resulted in closure or discontinuance of solar glass manufacturers.
Now, the demand has surfaced strongly causing a demand-supply imbalance.
Anti Dumping Duty
To understand how anti-dumping and other duties work, you can read my earlier blog:
There has been some duties on parts of solar panel. Let me just list them out:
Solar Glass: DGTR has recommended for imposition of Countervailing Duty(CVD) on imports from Malaysia of “Textured Tempered Coated or Uncoated Glass”(of which Borosil is the sole manufacturer in India), @ 9.71% of CIF value for a period of 5 years on 14th December 2020. It is likely to be approved in a couple of month.
Indian govt also has imposed five-year anti-dumping duty @$114.58/metric ton (MT) from Feb 27th, 2019 & will be applicable on solar glass from all Malaysian producers except China’s Xinyi Solar Sdn. Bhd, which has glass manufacturing facilities in Malaysia.
Ethylene Vinyl Acetate(EVA) sheet: Anti Dumping Duty imposed on 1st April 2019 for 5 years from China, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and Thailand. Source
Solar cells and Modules: Safeguard duty was imposed for a period of one year starting July 31st,2020 at the rate of 14.9 per cent for the initial six months, while at 14.5 per cent for the rest from China, Vietnam & Thailand. Source
Borosil Renewables: Q2FY21 Concall Update
Borosil Renewables Ltd is the only manufacturer of Solar glass in India. The only competition they face are the imports.
Capacity utilization during Q2FY21: 91%
Order book =45days. According to the management the order book in this industry are repetitive and short.
EBITDA Margin for Q2FY21= 28.4%
In 2019, BRL had expanded its glass capacity from 180 TPD to 450 TPD. The second furnace of the company started commercial production from 1st August 2019.
The company is planning to increase the capacity to 950TPD by adding 500TPD of additional capacity which will cost ₹500cr. The 500 cr will be raised through equity, debt and internal accruals and is expected to complete in the next 18 month. They already have raised ₹200 cr via Qualified Institutions Placement (Issue) i.e. issuing fresh shares.
Q2FY21 was the first quarter in which both their furnace operated at full capacity.
In terms of tempering, the company has only one line operating as of now. Will be refurbishing one older line at a cost of ₹3cr.
At the current capacity, at current prices(₹98/sq mt) the company can generate a maximum revenue of ₹120cr.
Borosil Renewables Ltd- What is causing the share price surge?
How is the pricing decided for "Solar Glass"?
China has the market share of 80% in the global solar panel production capacity . They dominate the global market and hence are the ones determining the price at which solar glass is sold.
So, basically it depends on demand-supply situation. Chinese supply has been dominating global demand for many years. The prices of solar glass has been hovering at ₹98/ sq metre for many many years.
Now the prices of Solar glass in India stands at ₹160-170/sq mt almost 70% increase in price. Internationally, Solar glass spot prices are nearly double the May-June 22-26 yuan ($3.35-$3.96) range per square meter.
So what has changed in the last few months?
There comes the Chinese govt policy. The policy mandates increased usage of bifacial modules i.e. use of solar glass on both the side of solar panel compared to traditional way of putting solar glass only at the facing surface.
The management of Borosil Renewables in the interview with BloombergQuint specified the reason:
There has been a shortage of glass in China in the year 2020, which started from about August this year. What has happened is that the government of China has announced its own program of installation of solar power, it is about 40 gigawatts. That’s immense and 30% of that has to come from modules which have glass on both sides of the module.
That pushes the demand of solar glass while supply remains the same.
The second is, they have been going very aggressively on anti-pollution in China. So, there are certain glass producers who are within a couple of 100 kilometres of a major city. They have been asked to shut down, no discussion. What happened was that there was a shortage and prices have gone up significantly. I would say they’ve gone up by nearly 70%-80% this year, but this is short term, I think another two months, we are having more capacity coming in back into production.
“There is a call for glass manufacturers to get production capacity up, but you still need about two years to fully come online,” said Leon Chuang, global marketing director at solar module maker Risen Energy.
Just to add, Borosil Renewables is a leader in 2mm solar glass. The selling price of 2mm solar glass is much higher then the traditionally used 3.2mm glass but the cost of production is not too high for 2mm with respect to 3.2mm, implying higher margins for 2mm glass. Source
There are five inputs to produce solar glass: soda ash, quartzite ore(Silicone is obtained), power (natural gas, heavy oil and electricity), equipment and labor.
Although, raw material prices have gone up but the company has a contract for the whole year at the earlier low price. So they have low priced raw material available for few months of CY21.
Borosil Renewables Ltd- What is causing the share price surge?
Is this sustainable?
For Solar panel makers, glass now accounts for about 20% of the total cost of production, up from about 10%. There is demand from Solar panel manufacturer to increase the production capacity of solar glass but it takes significant time for the capacity to come up and start production.
As we saw in the case of graphite electrodes(HEG & Graphite India) or most recent GMM Pfaudler where when demand came back there wasn’t enough capacity, giving these companies pricing power.
Since the current situation is cause by demand-supply mismatch, need to track the industry related news.
The share price have run up a lot and valuation looks a bit stretched. But you never know how market rewards any company.
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