Rejection of Azure Power bid confirms failure of India’s 10 GW ‘mega-tender’

Share

From pv magazine India.

In a final indignity for the Solar Energy Corporation of India’s 10 GW, manufacturing-linked mega-tender, the Indian government has decided to reject the sole bid it received – from Azure Power – citing dissatisfaction with the quoted price.

The nation’s first manufacturing-linked solar tender was launched in May with the aim of securing 5 GW of manufacturing capacity linked to interstate transmission system-connected solar projects with an aggregate capacity of 10 GW. Following a poor response, SECI reduced the manufacturing component to 3 GW and the minimum project bid capacity from 1 GW to 600 MW.

The much-hyped tender – trailed as the world’s largest – was postponed six times and finally attracted just one bidder, Azure. The Delhi-based developer bid for a 2 GW project on a single site plus 600 MW of manufacturing capacity, ensuring the mammoth tender was under-subscribed by almost 75%.

Allaying fears the tender could be scrapped, SECI decided to forge ahead with Azure, but comments attributed to RK Singh, India’s power and renewable energy minister, appear to have hammered the final nail in the coffin for a procurement exercise that has become something of an embarrassment for the government.

“We found the price quoted by the bidder to be unreasonable and hence we have decided to cancel the bid,” Singh reportedly told Indian newspaper the The Economic Times.

The latest development comes days after analysts Wood Mackenzie predicted this year will be a make-or-break one for mega-solar projects of more than 500 MW capacity, given the struggles to bring such schemes to fruition outside China.