SECI Meets Chinese Investors, Asks them to Set up Solar Manufacturing Units in India

The Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) and the Indian embassy in China’s capital Beijing recently organized a seminar named “Business Opportunities in Solar Sector in India”. The seminar was aimed at promoting the request for selection (RfS) documents for SECI’s recently floated project among the prospective Chinese investors.

China New Energy Chamber of Commerce (CNECC) and China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) participated as co-organizers of the event. The seminar was attended by more than 150 delegates from more than 110 Chinese companies, financial institutions, banks, and media.

Prashant Lokhande, Counsellor (Economy & Commerce) informed the audience that the RfS is an immediate opportunity for Chinese solar manufactures to invest in India. Through RfS a unique opportunity is being offered to global solar companies for setting up 5 GW integrated manufacturing facility for manufacturing solar photovoltaic (PV) modules along with solar cells, silicon wafers and ingots wherein incentive of assured off-take of 10 GW power from solar PV power projects will also be provided, along with the manufacturing capacity to be set-up by bidders.

Sanjay Sharma, the general manager of SECI gave a presentation about overall solar sector scenario of India, market size, opportunities and details about the RfS document.

Shi Limin, the standing deputy secretary general at CNECC and Jiang Hua the director at CPIA appealed Chinese investors to grab this immediate opportunity in solar sector and invest in India.

In May 2018, SECI had tendered 5 GW of manufacturing capacity to be set up across India. The manufacturing capacity will be linked to inter-state transmission system (ISTS)-connected solar PV projects for an aggregate capacity of 10 GW.

Setting up manufacturing units, as well as solar PV projects simultaneously is a tough ask for most Indian players. Per the RfS, “Bidders selected by SECI will submit two separate performance bank guarantees (PBGs) per project at the rate of ₹2.2 billion/GW for solar manufacturing and ₹4 billion/2GW of solar PV project within 30 days of issuance of Letter of Intent (LoI).”

Successful bidders will have to pay ₹10.6 million per project in addition to the 18 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) to SECI towards administrative overheads, liaising with the state authorities, DISCOMs, STUs or CTUs, pre-commissioning and commissioning expense within 30 days of issuance of LoI.

Given the shape of things, it seems only logical that SECI is turning to cash-rich Chinese manufacturers for realization of this tender.

Image credit: Indian Embassy Beijing

Saumy Prateek Saumy is a senior staff reporter with MercomIndia.com covering business and energy news since 2016. Prior to Mercom, Saumy was a copy editor at Thomson Reuters. Saumy earned his Bachelors Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication from the Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University. More articles from Saumy Prateek.