China’s CSUN faces India ban over module contract disputes


The Indian government plans to blacklist PV module supplier China Sunergy (CSUN) over claims that it failed to meet its contractual obligations with Indian project developers.

“We will soon issue an advisory to people not to buy from them,” Anand Kumar, secretary of India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), told The Economic Times this week. The ministry also plans to prepare a list of approved suppliers to shield Indian companies from the risk of dealing with unreliable companies, he said.

The move comes after Indian solar project developers Acme Solar, RattanIndia and Refex Energy complained to the ministry that CSUN had failed to honor its PV module supply contracts with them. Acme Solar had signed a PV module supply deal with CSUN for an aggregate capacity of 30 MW. It paid an advance of $2.95 million, which was about 30% of the purchase price, or equal to the cost of 9 MW of equipment. CSUN failed to deliver 9 MW of modules by the agreed deadline, and did not return the advance either, according to The Economic Times.

CSUN, which has a module production capacity of 1.2 GW, also allegedly defaulted on a 40 MW module supply order placed by Refex Energy, and did not return the $1.12 million advance, either. In addition, Yarrow Infrastructure — part of the RattanIndia Group — claimed that it only received 2.77 MW of a 20 MW module supply deal with CSUN, the newspaper added.

India’s aggressive solar target of 100 GW by 2022 has driven the popularity of cheaper Chinese PV modules. In fiscal 2018 alone, around 9.8 GW of modules were imported, accounting for to 85% of India’s total demand.

Last year, Monika Leiner — purchasing manager for German EPC specialist Goldbeck Solar — spoke out about a module supply deal the company signed with CSUN in 2017. At the time, Goldbeck Solar claimed that it hadn’t receive a single module, and was only refunded a fraction of the paid deposit.

As China does not have a disputes resolution process that corresponds to the European model, it is unclear whether the rest of the deposit will ever be reimbursed. Only after immense pressure did the Chinese company even acknowledge the existence of the financial claim, Goldbeck Solar has claimed.

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