GCL Group, Softbank sign MOU for 4 GW of solar manufacturing in Andhra Pradesh


China’s GCL Group signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Softbank Vision Fund through its manager Softbank Investment, a subsidiary of Japan-based Softbank Group, on March 29, under which the companies will establish a 4 GW solar PV production facility.

The 4 GW will be implemented across two phases each comprising 2 GW, and will include the production of ingots, wafers, cells, modules, and batteries.

According to GCL System Integration Technology Co Ltd, which made the announcement, the two parties will establish a joint venture (JV) company – either directly or through their respective affiliates or subsidiaries – in Andhra Pradesh, with Softbank Investment owning a 60% stake, and GCL Group a 40% stake.

GCL said the equity ratio of the JV would be adjusted accordingly, if a third-party partner were introduced later on. The composition of the board of directors of the JV will be consistent with that of the equity structure, it added.

The JV company expects a total investment of US$930 million, however, the two parties have not yet said where the funds will come from.

Andhra Pradesh on the rise

Solar in the state of Andhra Pradesh State is on the rise, particularly when it comes to manufacturing. Most recently, CETC (India), a subsidiary of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), broke ground on an around $49 million 200 MW solar PV cell manufacturing facility in Sri City.

In February, meanwhile, China’s Longi Solar has announced the 2GW each cells and modules manufacturing in the state.

It has been said that the growing interest of overseas companies, in particular Chinese, in investing in Indian PV manufacturing facilities has increased on the back of upcoming safeguard duties in India.

Adani CEO, Jayant Parimal told pv magazine in a recent interview that this is the only reason why a Chinese firm would want to invest in India.

Large-scale solar plans have also been announced in the state. At the Investor Summit, held in Andhra Pradesh in February, Avaada Power Ltd announced its plans to install 500 MW, while the Adani Group unveiled a PV pipeline of over 1 GW, and Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) signed several renewable energy project development agreements.

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