(SeeNews) - Feb 14, 2014 - This week South Australia says yes to 600-MW Suzlon wind project, OCI revives expansion project amid rising demand for polysilicon and Hindustan Cleanenergy shares plans for an IPO, while the US makes another move against India’s domestic content rules for solar projects.
On Thursday the Australian arm of Indian wind turbine maker Suzlon Energy (BOM:532667) said its 600-MW Ceres wind project in South Australia had secured development nod by the state government. The 197-turbine scheme represents an investment of USD 1.35 billion (EUR 989m) and is being developed by Senvion Australia, former REpower Australia.
HINDUSTAN CLEANENERGY MULLS IPO TO BACK 1-GW SOLAR PLAN
On the Indian solar front, daily The Hindu Business Line on Wednesday quoted the CEO of Hindustan Cleanenergy Ltd as saying that the firm was considering an initial public offering (IPO) in India this year. The plan is to use the proceeds for support its ambitious solar capacity target of 1,000 MW by 2016. At present, Hindustan Cleanenergy has an installed photovoltaic (PV) capacity of 350 MW, some 120 MW of which is located abroad.
INDIA EYES WORLD BANK LOAN FOR 750-MW SOLAR PLAN, US ATTACKS DOMESTIC CONTENT RULES AGAIN
Remaining on the same wave, on February 7 it was announced that India is seeking the government’s nod to get a USD-500-million loan from the World Bank for the construction of a 750-MW solar complex in Rajasthan. The Indian government said the project represented the first phase of the 4,000-MW complex in Jaipur district. The 750-MW stage is worth about USD 1.08 billion while the whole scheme is calling for an investment of some USD 4.8 billion.
On Monday US trade representative Michael Froman said that the US would once again approach the World Trade Organization (WTO) on complaints that India’s domestic content rules for certain solar projects discriminate US solar manufacturers and could obstruct the expansion of solar power. This is the second attempt by the US to crash India’s local content requirement, a mechanism that supports domestic solar photovoltaics (PV) manufacturers.
S KOREA’S OCI TO HIKE POLYSILICON CAPACITY BY 10,000 TONES
Meanwhile in South Korea polysilicon maker OCI Co (SEO:010060) is expanding. It said on Tuesday it would start work on a USD-114-million project that would add 10,000 tonnes to its capacity. The installation of the additional polysilicon production lines at the manufacturing plant in Gunsan is to be completed by June 2015, OCI said.
The expansion project announcement came soon after NPD Solarbuzz said it expected to see polysilicon demand from the solar and semiconductor industries in 2014 jump by 25% on the year to 282,000 tonnes. The major driver is the expected surge in end-market PV module shipments to some 49 GW in the current year.
US BOOSTS SOLAR JOBS COUNT TO 142,700
In the US, the solar sector provided employment to 142,700 people at the end of 2013, up 20% year-on-year, according to the Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2013. The report, released Tuesday, says that in 2014 the solar employment total is to expand by another 15.6% or about 22,240 jobs.
California remains the number-one state in terms of solar employment with some 47,200 people working for solar companies at the end of 2013. This compares to 43,700 in 2012. The state is projected to add some 9,000 more workers in the next 12 months.
(USD 1 = EUR 0.730)