SECI Floats Tender to Select Module Manufacturers Under ₹195 billion PLI Program

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Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) has invited bids for the selection of solar module manufacturers to produce higher efficiency modules in the country under tranche II of the production-linked incentive (PLI) program.

The last date to submit the bids is January 9, 2023. Bids will be opened on January 12.

Bidders can bid for one of the three following manufacturing baskets:

  • Polysilicon + ingots-wafers + solar cells + modules
  • Ingots-wafers + solar cells + modules
  • solar cells + modules

SECI has allocated ₹195 billion (~$2.39 billion) for incentivizing manufacturers. It includes ₹120 billion (~$1.47 billion) for basket one, ₹45 billion (~$551.25 million) for basket two, and ₹30 billion (~$367.5 million) for basket three.

The PLI will be available for five years after the date of commissioning – scheduled or actual, whichever is earlier — of the manufacturing facilities by the selected bidders.

According to SECI, the monetary incentives awarded to the bidders would depend on several factors, including the efficiency of the modules, the extent of inputs sourced locally, and the sales volume, among others.

Bidders are required to submit ₹1.5 million (~$18,375) as a processing fee for the bid process.

Further, the bid participants need to deposit ₹90 million (~$1.1 million)/GW of the manufacturing capacity as earnest money for basket one, ₹60 million (~$735,000)/GW for basket two, and ₹40 million (~$490,000)/GW for basket three.

The successful bidder will have to furnish ₹130 million (~$1.59 million)/GW as a performance bank guarantee for basket one, ₹90 million (~$1.1 million)/GW for basket two, and ₹60 million (~$735,000)/GW for basket three.

The minimum capacity for an acceptable single bid will be 1,000 MW, and the maximum has been set at 10 GW for basket one and 6 GW each for basket two and basket three.

Moreover, SECI’s request for selection (RfS) document said that bidders must set up either Greenfield or Brownfield manufacturing facilities for the quoted capacity.

However, PLI receivable for a brownfield manufacturing plant will be half of what would be available for a greenfield facility.

For basket one, the manufacturing facility should be commissioned within three years from the date of the issuance of the letter of award. For baskets two and three, the commissioning dates are set at two years and 18 months, respectively.

The net worth of eiligible bidders should be ₹3.8 billion (~$46.55 million)/GW to bid for basket one, ₹2.6 billion (~$31.85 million)/GW for basket two and ₹1.8 billion (~$22.05 million)/GW for basket three.

Last month, the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) approved ₹195 billion (~$2.61 billion) to achieve gigawatt-scale manufacturing of high-efficiency solar photovoltaic modules under the second phase (Tranche II) of the PLI program.

In February this year, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) had announced the updated list of successful bidders for setting up manufacturing capacities for a minimum of 10 GW of high-efficiency solar modules under tranche I of the PLI program.

According to the updated list, Reliance New Energy Solar’s PLI award amount was increased to ₹19.17 billion (~$254.24 million) for a capacity of 4 GW. Adani Infrastructure was awarded a PLI of ₹6.63 billion (~$87.93 million), out of the total quoted amount of ₹36 billion (~$477.44 million). Shirdi Sai Electricals’ PLI award stayed the same at ₹18.75 billion (~$252 million) for a capacity of 4 GW. Jindal India Solar Energy, which was awarded a PLI of ₹13.90 billion (~$186.8 million), decided to opt-out of the bidding process.

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