The Solar India mission registered a number of key milestones in the past few months as the government races ahead to meet its 100 GW target for 2022. Here is a selection of some global interest in this arena. India set to beat China in power deal
India's state-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) is closing in on a contract from a Chinese competitor to build a $1.6 billion power plant in Bangladesh. China′s Harbin Electric International Company Ltd, which has power projects in Iran, Turkey and Indonesia among others, lost the bid on technical grounds. Anwarul Azim, a spokesperson for the Bangladesh-India Friendship Power Company Limited, a joint venture set up to build the coal-fired plant, said BHEL had emerged as the lowest bidder. After years of negotiations, BHEL is expected to sign a contract soon to build a 1,320MW thermal power station in Khulna in southern Bangladesh. It would be the biggest foreign project by an Indian power firm, eclipsing a plant already built in Rwanda and a planned one in Sri Lanka. Nearly two-fifths of Bangladesh′s 160 million people do not have access to electricity, according to the World Bank. The proposed power plant will have two units of 660 MW that will generate power for local consumption. The project has raised some environmental concerns, with activists warning that the movement of coal posed a threat to the nearby Sundarbans, the world′s largest mangrove forests. India eyes the first AIIB loans
India's need of $500 million for its solar projects may be fulfilled by Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). AIIB, the China-led multilateral investment bank, has an authorised capital of $100 billion which it plans to invest in global clean-energy initiatives, and could fund eco-friendly investment projects to avoid allegations of promoting pollution. India, the bank′s second biggest shareholder after China, fits the bill here. Tarun Kapur, joint secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said: "In about six months, funds could start flowing from AIIB.” The interest on the loan is expected to be 2 to 2.5 percent and would be linked to LIBOR for a term of over 15 years. Headquartered in Beijing, AIIB's expected funding can back Prime Minister Narendra Modi′s plan of expanding installed solar capacity to 100 gigawatts by 2022. IFC inks solar pact with MP
US-based International Finance Corporation (IFC) has clinched an agreement with the Madhya Pradesh government for an ultra-mega solar plant to be set up with a capacity of 750 MW in Rewa district of the state. As per the agreement, IFC would be providing its services as a financial advisor. The agreement was signed between Manu Shrivastava, principal secretary for renewable energy for MP, and IFC country manager Jun Zang for a project defined as the largest single-site solar power project in the world. Rajendra Shukla, MP energy minister, said: "Successful implementation of the Rewa Ultra-Mega Power project will be a key milestone for Madhya Pradesh′s outstanding efforts and leadership in renewable energy and the Centre′s remarkable vision on solar power.” IFC is working with the Indian government to assist in meeting its large-scale solar energy generation goals.