Indian Railways’ 400 MW Solar Tender Comes With Domestic Content Requirement

The solar cells and modules should be made in India


The Railway Energy Management Company Limited (REMCL), a joint venture of the Indian Railways and RITES Limited, has published the details of the tender for 400 MW of grid-connected solar projects on vacant railway lands in the country.

Mercom previously covered the notice inviting tender (NIT) for this project.

REMCL has now announced that the cells and modules used in the project must meet domestic content requirements (DCR). It has also provided a tentative list of land parcels capable of supporting up to 450 MW of projects across the country. Bidders have been permitted to quote for one or more packages.

Indian Railways Land Parcels to Develop Solar Projects

REMCL said it intends to finance the package through equity and debt.

The Scope of work as per the tender documents includes the design, engineering, manufacturing, supply, installation, and commissioning of the project on a turnkey basis under the DCR category. It includes establishing connectivity up to the distribution company’s (DISCOM) substation. The selected bidder also has to provide operation and maintenance services for ten years.

The tender documents said that all bids must be accompanied by a bid security amount of ₹400,000 (~$5,268) per MW of the quoted capacity. The last date for submission of bids is September 16, 2020.

To be eligible to take part in the competitive bidding process, applicants must have undertaken similar projects, with one of them being at least 35% of the offered capacity of the current tendered project. This reference project should also have been operating successfully for at least six months.

Alternatively, the bidder should have executed a similar project in the last ten years that is worth at least ₹38.5 million (~$507,126)/MW as a developer or as an EPC contractor in the areas of power, steel, oil and gas, petrochemical, fertilizer, cement, coal mining, or any other process industry.

Applicants are also expected to have had an annual turnover of ₹38.5 million (~$507,126) per MW of the quoted capacity in the last three financial years.

REMCL has been assigned the responsibility of setting up 3 GW of solar power projects on vacant lands of the Indian Railways. The projects will be divided into three phases of 1 GW each. The first and third phases will be carried out under a public-private partnership basis under the design, build, finance, operate, and transfer model. Meanwhile, the second phase will be carried out under the ownership of REMCL.

During the announcement of the Budget 2020, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had stated that solar capacity would be deployed along the railway tracks on lands owned by the Indian Railways. She had mentioned that the government aims to electrify 27,000 km of railway tracks.

According to Mercom’s India Solar Tender Tracker, RITES has so far tendered nearly 366 MW of solar capacity.