Week in India: No Basic Customs Duty on Solar Modules, Adani Green Grows, Total Invests $510mn and More

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Total to Acquire 50% Stake in Adani Green’s Solar Portfolio for $510 Million

Total, a French oil and gas major, has entered into an agreement with Adani Green Energy Limited  (AGEL) to acquire a 50% stake in a joint venture company for $510 million (~₹36.26 billion). The agreement will lead to the transfer of 2,148 MW (AC) of operating solar assets, which are currently owned by AGEL to the new joint venture company. AGEL will own the remaining 50% stake in the company. These projects are spread over 11 Indian states and have a cumulative capacity of over 2 GW. All the projects benefit from nearly 25-year power purchase agreements (PPA) with national and regional electricity distributors. This latest collaboration highlights AGEL and Total’s commitment to address India’s growing demand for renewable power and help meet India’s climate change goals.

No Basic Customs Duty on Imported Solar Cells and Modules for Now

The basic customs duty on the import of solar cells and modules into the country will remain ‘zero’, for now, an official of the Ministry of Finance confirmed to Mercom. The officer said that there is a basic customs duty exemption (notification 24/2005 Customs dated March 1, 2005) in place for these items. Unless the earlier notification is amended to exclude the solar cells and modules from customs duty exemption, the items will continue to have 0% duty. The budget speech document released later in the day also confirmed that the BCD for solar cells and modules is nil for now. Following the Budget 2020 presentation, the government in an amendment also split the earlier tariff item 8541 40 11 (solar cells whether or not assembled in modules or panels) into two; 8541 40 11 (solar cells not assembled) and 8541 40 12 (solar cells assembled in modules or made up into panels) and proposed a basic customs duty of 20% on both the tariff items.

Adani Green Registers 11% YoY Revenue Growth in Q3 of FY 2020

Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL), a part of the Adani Group, has announced its financial results for the nine months (9M) and quarter ending December 31, 2019. The total revenue for the company from operations in the first nine months of the financial year stood at Rs 18.53 billion ($260.12 million), up by 35% on a year-on-year (YoY) basis. The revenue from power generation was up by 7% YoY to Rs 14.64 billion ($205.51 million) from Rs 13.71 billion ($192.45 million) during the same period last year. The company noted that the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBIDTA) of Rs 12.66 billion ($177.72 million) was up by 2% YoY and the loss for the period stood at Rs 1.23 billion ($17.26 million) as compared to Rs 3.81 billion ($53.48 million) on YoY basis. The cash profit for the company during the nine months was Rs 5.44 billion ($76.36 million), lower by 3% YoY.

POSOCO to Examine Renewable Energy Curtailment Issue in Andhra Pradesh

The Andhra Pradesh High Court at Amaravati has asked the Power System Operation Limited (POSOCO) to look into the reasons behind the curtailment of renewable power in the state. The petitioners, in this case, were, Mytrah Vayu (Pennar) Private Limited, Mytrah Vayu (Krishna) Private Limited, Mytrah Vayu (Indravati) Private Limited, and Mytrah Vayu (Tungabhadra) Private Limited, the special purpose vehicles of Mytrah Energy, a renewable energy independent power producer (IPP).  The petitioners had gone to court against Andhra Pradesh DISCOMs’ inability to pay the dues and resorting to the curtailment of power from the projects.

JVVNL Floats Tender to Solarize 504 Agricultural Pumps Under KUSUM Program in Jodhpur

The Jodhpur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (JVVNL) has floated a tender for the solarization of 504 agricultural pumps to be distributed to 17 select 11 kV feeders of the Jodhpur distribution company. The scope of work includes the design, survey, supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of the solar systems. It also requires bidders to provide comprehensive maintenance for five years. The last date for the submission of bids is March 5, 2020. The project is expected to cost Rs 235.18 million ($3.27 million) and is expected to be completed within nine months from the date of the letter of intent (LoI).

Ajmer Calls for Bids to Solarize 5,874 Water Pumps Under KUSUM Program

The Ajmer Vidyut Vitran Nigam Limited (AVVNL) has floated a tender for the solarization of 5,874 pumps distributed on 92 selected feeders in the Ajmer distribution company to aid the solarization of grid-connected agricultural consumers. The scope of work includes the design, survey, supply, installation, testing, commissioning of the solar systems. It also requires bidders to provide comprehensive maintenance for five years. The last date for the submission of bids is March 4, 2020. The project is estimated to cost ₹1.39 billion ($19.37 million) and is expected to be completed within nine months from the date of issue of the letter of intent (LoI).

NTPC Raises $750 Million Syndicated Loan to Reduce Emissions from Power Projects

The National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) announced that it had raised a syndicated loan worth $750 million (Rs 53.5 billion) in Japanese Yen to fund capital expenditure for the installation of Flue Gas Desulphurization (FGD) systems. Flue gas desulphurization is a process of removing sulfur dioxide from exhaust flue gases of fossil-fuel power plants, and sulfur oxide emissions from processes like the incineration of waste material. The power generator said this was the largest syndicated loan in Japanese Yen by any Asian corporation from the offshore Samurai loan market. It also said that this was the highest ever single foreign currency loan raised by the NTPC.

BHEL Issues O&M Tender for a 1.7 MW Solar Power Project in Madhya Pradesh

The Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has floated a tender for the operation and maintenance (O&M) of a 1.7 MW solar project for one year at Bina in Madhya Pradesh. The estimated cost of the project is Rs 675,000 ($9429), and the interested bidders will have to submit an amount of ₹15,100 ($211) as the earnest money deposit (EMD). The last date for the submission of bids is February 10, 2020, and the contract will be valid for a period of one year. The scope of work includes the cleaning of approximately 5,800 solar modules twice a month, cutting the grass every month, and watering of chemical earth pits. Logging of DC, AC, grid parameters, transformer temperatures, equipment tripping/breakdown, grid outage as per BHEL formats.

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