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Tata BP Solar CEO Resigns as Chinese Rivals Hurt Indian Manufacturers

According to reports, the chief executive officer of Tata BP Solar Ltd. resigned, exiting India’s third-largest panel maker as the industry struggles to cope with oversupply from Chinese competitors that’s crushed prices.

K. Subramanya said in an e-mail that tomorrow will be his last day at the head of the solar company and that he hasn’t decided yet what he will do next. He didn’t provide a reason for his resignation.

Indian panel makers such as Tata BP, Indosolar Ltd. (ISLR) and Moser Baer India Ltd. (MBI) are struggling along with counterparts in the U.S. and Europe after lower-cost Chinese manufacturers boosted supply. Germany and Italy, the two biggest markets for the technology, have scaled back subsidies for renewable energy.

Indian manufacturers received almost no orders for the more than 700 megawatts of sun-powered capacity under construction in the nation last year and have idled their factories, Subramanya said in an interview in December.

Tata Power Co. (TPWR), the utility arm of the industrial group that owns Jaguar Land Rover, agreed to buy out BP Plc (BP/)’s stake in the Indian joint venture in December after the British oil company said it was winding down its solar business worldwide.

Prices of silicon-based panels plunged 47 percent in the past year, helping to tip at least seven U.S. and German manufacturers into bankruptcy.


  1. We can’t run away from the facts….Solyndra, Q cell, LDK solar are also in deep red, so, why not Indian units? More concerned about small units in INDIA too…. this is a global phenomenon and market offers a price and we need to live with it. Indian govt did protect for 3 years with local content, but, project price was high, thus, if the world offers a solution to reduce project costs / price without compromising other project specifications and sustainable business solutions, large corporate are bound to loose as the expansion was done with reports of their research organisations or internal sales forecast (!!)… this is what i call as the “Corporate governance deficit while forecasting Market which defines the CAPEX spend”. Public listed companies must introspect with innovative ideas…. In the last renewable energy expo (aug 2011), the panelists including Moserbaer and LDK solar, were suggesting to expand the capacity to GW range !! today, in 10 months, market offered them very differently…. therefore, we need to accept the truth.

    • Rightly used the words ‘Corporate Governance Deficit’. Most of the market research is done on few sample studies and then generalized over a large populated country like India which often leads to false picturisation and and set backs to companies of large stature towards bankruptancy.

    • The JNNSM does offfer local content but limited only to crystalline silicon;thin film swept the market and the consequences are what it is! I dont think smaller manufacturing units would get any different advantage… the mfg costs are high in India.

    • This is only one side story. The real fact is that no one in this world can fight with huge subsidies offered to the industries in China and Europe. In India no such subsidies are offered except special incentive schemes and limited tax benefits. There are many reasons why India can not compete with China/Europe. Like interest rates are at the range of 14-15% compared to <6% in China, lower electricity costs in China by three times compared to India, Free land to Industries in China and huge export benefits to Chinese companies. About 14% export benefits are offered in China for exporting PV modules. It has been proved by many reports about unfair subsidies offered by Chinese Government and dumping low cost products into India, Europe and USA. In USA anti-dumping has already been imposed on imports from China since April 2012. Interestingly if we import modules from China it is duty free but we import raw materials they are not duty free? then how can we justify the lower cost of Chinese PV modules imports? The story of Europe is quite different and which is mainly due to their high overhead and manpower cost. In Europe manpower cost is about 4-6 times higher compared to China. In India manpower cost is also higher compared to China. Local content did not help because thin film panels were excluded from import and due to lower rate of interest offered by Exim bank to those who install First Solar panels imported from USA. This was another unfair game played by USA. How can Indian Government ignore such things. It is very strange that no one installed India made product in 700MWp installations in India because of above reasons. We must also consider that all the production made during last year in India was exported to Europe but not used in India. It is easy to say to accept the truth but reality is really hard. If Government will not interfere all the industries will die in India not only Solar…..

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