After levying safeguards against China and Malaysia, India plans smaller solar plants

NEW DELHI: India will issue a new, smaller tender to encourage local manufacturing of solar energy equipment after scrapping a larger maiden bid that received poor investor response.

State-owned Solar Energy Corp. of India said Tuesday on its website that it will issue on Jan. 30 a revised tender to set up 1.5 gigawatts of solar-equipment manufacturing facilities and generating capacity of twice that amount.

The tender is part of the South Asian nation’s efforts to boost domestic manufacturing capabilities, in addition to levying safeguard duties against imports from China and Malaysia.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi aims to build 100 gigawatts of solar power capacity by 2022 as part of his climate pledge.

The tender is a fraction of an earlier one floated in May that targeted setting up 5 gigawatts of solar equipment factories linked with building 10 gigawatts of projects but was shrunk and repeatedly delayed. It now stands canceled after only one company bid for a portion of it.

“The earlier tender has been scrapped and the single winner will not be awarded the bid due to technical reasons,” Anand Kumar, secretary at the ministry of new and renewable energy, said in a phone interview.

The new tender will focus on building only solar cells and modules and not components such as wafers and ingots, where technology is changing rapidly and not many investors may take on that risk, Kumar added. – Bloomberg


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