CHENNAI (Reuters) - Adani Green Energy Ltd said on Tuesday it had won a government contract to build solar plants in India with a total capacity of 8 gigawatts (GW) at a cost of $6 billion over the next five years.
The renewable energy developer, part of the Adani Group, said the first 2 GW of generation capacity will come onstream by 2022 and the rest will be added in annual 2 GW increments through 2025.
The Adani Group will also establish a solar cell and module manufacturing capacity of 2 GW by 2022 as a part of the contract from state-run Solar Energy Corp of India (SECI), it said.
Billionaire Gautam Adani likened his efforts to that of India’s top carmaker Maruti Suzuki , saying that ramping up local manufacturing will create an ecosystem of suppliers for solar cells and modules.
India currently imports over 90% of its solar cell and module requirements from China, and domestic manufacturers have struggled to compete with cheap Chinese modules.
“Basically, we are as competitive as China. We’ll be able to develop ecosystems. In the manufacturing of small cars, one Maruti Suzuki had come and an entire ancillary ecosystem came along with it,” he said in a conference call with reporters.
Shares of Adani Green, which have nearly doubled since the beginning of the year, closed 5% higher high at a record 312.60 rupees ($4.14) on Tuesday.
A spokesman for the group said funding will be through a mix of debt and equity.
Gautam Adani said foreign investors were interested in tying up with local partners to invest in India’s renewable energy space, and that there was room for a further 10-15% stake dilution in Adani Green.
France’s Total SA paid nearly $500 million this year for a 50% stake in a joint venture with Adani Green.
($1 = 75.5320 Indian rupees)
Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Editing by Kevin Liffey