SoftBank To Pump In $20 Bn For Solar Power Projects
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Japan's SoftBank Corp on Monday (22 June) announced investment of $20 billion in setting up solar power projects in India in partnership with telecom giant Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan's Foxconn. The joint venture entity will be called SBG Cleantech, which will be headquartered in Delhi and will focus on solar and wind energy. SBG Cleantech will have Manoj Kohli, a Bharti veteran, who until recently led Bharti’s emerging businesses, as executive Chairman and Raman Nanda, as the CEO.
Softbank, the Japan-based telecommunications and Internet major, had previously committed to invest $10 billion in India over a ten year period. In a news conference, Softbank said that the three firms – Softbank, Bharti and Foxconn -- will set up 20 Giga Watts of renewable energy projects in India.
SoftBank will hold majority stake in the joint venture, SBG Cleantech Ltd, while Bharti Enterprises Ltd and Foxconn Technology Group will have minority stakes. Its CEO Masayoshi Son said Foxconn will help with planned solar equipment manufacturing for the projects. The three firms are also looking at manufacturing equipment in India, he added.
India has recently set a target of 100GW solar and 60GW wind target by 2022. Government of India’s mission is to achieve 24×7 power for all and the renewable energy target by 2022. India has achieved a base of 3.7 GW of solar power.
The venture will invest in renewable energy plants across India. SBG Cleantech intends to participate in the 2015-16 round of solar power plant tenders under the National Solar Mission (NSM) program and state-specific solar programs.
Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of Bharti Enterprises said: “This project will immensely contribute to the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of meeting the country’s energy demands through clean sources.”
"At Bharti, we believe in projects that have a transformational impact on society. In line with this vision, we are participating in a renewable energy venture with SoftBank and Foxconn which has the potential to transform the Indian economy," Mittal, said.
Son and Mittal will be visiting Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan over the next two days to talk to state government officials about potential projects, Mittal said at a news conference.
He said that subject to winning project bids, land and other clearance, the first project should get off the ground in 12 to 18 month, adding that land acquisition should not be an issue since the venture will be using arid, non-cultivable and non-irrigable land.