The Indian government’s decision to not levy anti-dumping duties on imports of solar cells and modules from four countries, including China, led to cheers from project developers.
But the same could not be said for a large section of solar cell and module producers in the country, who have been vociferously demanding the imposition of anti-dumping duties for a long time.
Cowed by cheap Chinese imports, 25 domestic solar manufacturers were eagerly waiting for an anti-dumping order from the Indian government. After the decision to let the August 22 deadline pass without so much as a murmur, these aggrieved companies are now forced to seek out export markets, or instead supply modules under the Indian governments Domestic Content Policy (DCR).
Under the DCR policy of MNRE for the phase-2 of JNNSM, a total of 375 MW of solar power plants have to be built using domestically produced cells and modules.
Vivek Chaturvedi, chief marketing officer of Moser Baer Solar, one of the most well-known producers of cells and modules, revealed the following to pv magazine on the opening day of Renewable Energy Expo in New Delhi:
"The governments decision not to impose anti-dumping duties on solar cell and module imports is unfortunate for domestic producers, said Chaturvedi. "Amid the flood of cheap imports, Indias domestic manufacturing industry has come to a standstill as project developers prefer low cost imports from overseas countries. But for the dumping of cheap products, our company would have been a GW player."
Making the best of the situation
One of India’s largest solar cell and module producers, Indo solar, declined to comment on the matter when queried by pv magazine. Indo Solar did, however, comment that the Solar Energy Society of India is the appropriate body to take a further decision on Governments stance. A couple of months back, Indo Solar signed the single largest solar cell supply contract of 60 MW under the DCR with a local solar project developer. After a long hiatus, production at Indo Solars existing 200 MW line commenced in July.
In anticipation of an anti-dumping imposition, the company ordered a new automated 250 MW line with selective emitter technology, which has since been delivered to its factory and will be installed in the final quarter of the year.
Another leading cell and module producer, Tata Solar Power, had recently increased its production capacity by 60%. The companys Bangalore facility now has 200 MW module and 180 MW cell production capacities.
Gyanesh Chaudhary, CEO of tier-one Indian PV manufacturer Vikram Solar, told pv magazine that while he believes Indian solar producers should be supported, tariffs are not the way forward.
In our considered view, imposing of anti-dumping duty, is not going to solve the crux of the core problem – which is the disadvantage faced by Indian players vis-à-vis China – and ADD will in fact be a medicine that will kill the patient. We have publicly opposed the proposal to place anti-dumping duties and the stand taken by the Finance Ministry to not notify the ADD is a vindication of our stand, so naturally we are happy about it, said Chaudhary.