China solar gear makers threaten to scrap pacts – The Economic Times

Clipped from: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/renewables/china-solar-gear-makers-threaten-to-scrap-pacts/articleshow/84770365.cmsSynopsis

China makes up 80% of the total imports for the Indian renewables industry. This figure balloons to 95%, when Chinese-origin companies operating out of Vietnam and Thailand are taken into account. The rest is fulfilled by Indian companies.

Leading Chinese solar equipment manufacturers are once again threatening to pull out of supply contracts to Indian power developers, a second such instance in four months.

Chinese solar manufacturing companies JA Solar, Trina Solar, and Risen Energy have threatened to pull out of existing contracts blaming the global commodity supercycle that has led to a surge in prices of polysilicon, the main raw material used in the making of solar panels.

However, Indian power companies are alleging collusion by the Chinese players to artificially hike prices.

This could affect multiple gigawatts worth of projects currently under construction by Indian developers. Leading companies such as Avaada EnergyReNew PowerAzure Power, O2, and Greenko are stressed because of the potential delays this dispute could potentially cause.

China makes up 80% of the total imports for the Indian renewables industry. This figure balloons to 95%, when Chinese-origin companies operating out of Vietnam and Thailand are taken into account. The rest is fulfilled by Indian companies.

The companies have now moved to the Ministry for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) to blacklist JA Solar and revoke its BIS approval, which would bar them from selling goods in India.

Cost of solar modules, which is measured per watt, was USD 18 cents per watt last September. This rose to 22 cents earlier this year, and Chinese suppliers have now increased it to 24 cents, executives said.

“These prices will make viability of the projects at the promised tariffs impossible,” a top executive told ET. This company has nearly 4 gigawatt (GW) of projects scheduled to be completed by the end of the current fiscal year.

Prices of polysilicon have gone up by 343% since July last year, and zoomed by 148% since January alone, resulting in module costs surging by 33%.

“These companies are leveraging their control over the prices of the modules, raw material, etc., to extract money from the Indian developers who are under pressure to meet deadlines,” said another developer on the condition of anonymity.

“The malpractice indicates cartelisation, which is not in the interest of India,” the executive added.

Mails sent out to top officials at JA, Trina, and Risen remained unanswered till press time Monday.

Solar modules make up 60% of any renewable project’s capital expenditure.

A safeguard duty (SGD) of 14.5% is in place until the end of this month to prevent the dumping of Chinese goods. The government will also levy a basic customs duty between 25 to 40% from April 2022 to reduce the Indian renewable industry’s dependence on China.

Indian developers were hoping to exploit the eight month gap and stockpile solar modules for future projects, but the rise in panel prices since last June has prevented them from placing future orders.
( Originally published on Jul 26, 2021 )(Catch all the Business NewsBreaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)

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