GCL and SoftBank Form a $930 Million JVC to Enter Indian Solar Manufacturing Sector

The manufacturing facility will be set up in the state of Andhra Pradesh


GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Limited and SoftBank have entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a joint venture company (JVC) for setting up an integrated solar photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh.

The manufacturing facility will be set up for the production and sale of ingots, wafers, cells and modules.

According to the MoU, SoftBank will hold 60 percent outstanding shares of the JVC while GCL-Poly will hold 40 percent. The total investment for the JVC will be approximately $930 million.

The parties are yet to agree on how the investment amount will be funded, and whether such amount will be funded by debt, equity, or a combination of both. In the future, shareholdings in the JVC can change if the parties introduce a third joint venture partner to the transaction.

It is intended that the JVC’s business will involve the establishment of manufacturing facilities for the production and sale of the products with a cumulative capacity of 4 GW to be implemented in two phases of 2 GW each.

The parties have also agreed to participate in the solar power development business in India and invest in the same shareholding proportions as in the JVC.

Since December 2017, the solar manufacturing landscape in India has been undergoing an overhaul. Back then, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) proposed a slew of  subsidies and incentives including direct financial support of more than ₹110 billion (~$1.7 billion) for manufacturers to expand and upgrade, a 12 GW Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSU) domestic content requirement (DCR) program to create robust domestic demand, an increasing DCR requirement from modules to polysilicon by year, 30 percent central financial assistance, cheaper loans, a custom duty exemption, and cheaper power.

Soon after, Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) invited an Expression of Interest (EoI) from prospective manufacturers to set up 20 GW of integrated solar manufacturing facility in India within a three-year period.

The formation of JVC by GCL-Poly and Softbank is in line with the current trend of expansion in the Indian solar manufacturing sector.

Mercom recently reported that solar manufacturers have ramped up manufacturing and expansion plans by approximately 4 GW.