Published On:June 23 2015
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Japan's SoftBank-led group to invest $20-bn for solar power in India.

Japan's SoftBank Corp, together with Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan’s Foxconn, will invest about $20 billion (Rs. 127,100 crore) over the next 10 years to generate 20,000 mega watt (MW) of solar power and manufacture solar power equipment in India.

SoftBank had earlier announced plans to invest $10 billion (Rs. 63,550 crore) in India.

The consortium- SBG Cleantech Ltd. - will be led by Manoj Kohli, a Bharti veteran who until recently led the group’s emerging businesses, as executive chairman. Raman Nanda will be the new CEO of the company, which will be headquartered in New Delhi.

“I want to make my commitment to endorse your Prime Minister Modi’s vision to make India a centre of solar generation and equipment manufacture,” SoftBank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said.

The new company will scout for project land in Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. 'We will be visiting other states too…land acquisition should not be a problem for solar projects, since it will be set up in non-uncultivable barren land,' Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal said.

Renewable energy secretary Upendra Tripathy termed the announcement a “very encouraging development'.

Japan-headquartered telecommunications and Internet major SoftBank will hold majority stake in SBG Cleantech. Bharti Enterprises will have strategic stake, while Foxconn Technology Group will hold significant stake. 'The exact details of the stake have not been finalised, we will come back to you with details, later.'

Japanese commercial banks have indicated to back with financing this project,” Son said.

Earlier in the day, Son and Mittal, along with SoftBank Internet and Media Inc CEO Nikesh Arora met Prime Minister Narendra Modi, power minister Piyush Goyal and minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha.

The new company intends to participate in the 2015-16 round of solar power plant tenders under the National Solar Mission (NSM) programme as well as state-specific solar ventures.

'We will participate in the tenders to be floated by NTPC for procurement of solar equipment,' Son said.

Foxconn would help with solar equipment for the projects.

The cost of logistics efficiency in the manufacture of solar power equipment is one-third of what it costs in Japan, he said. 'India has two times the sunshine (of) Japan. The cost of construction of the solar park is half of Japan. Twice the sunshine, half the cost, that means four times the efficiency,' he said.

The consortium will also explore methods to develop human resource and enter into strategic tie-ups with engineering colleges in India. Modi aims to make India one of the world’s largest renewable energy markets, targeting 100,000 MW of output by 2022 from the current 3,000 MW.


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