SoftBank Energy Denies Cartelisation Allegations
New Delhi: SoftBank Energy has denied allegations that the company attempted to form a cartel and increase solar power tariffs in a recent 3,000 MW tender, which was later partly cancelled. In a statement responding to media reports stating that power minister RK Singh has written to the Prime Minister’s Office alleging cartelisation attempt on part of SB Energy, the company said it has stuck to bidding norms set by the government and has practised ethical norms globally.
“We respect the open and transparent bidding process set by the ministry of new and renewable energy. We have always followed this process of the reverse auction since 2015 when it was initiated,” SB Energy said in a statement to ET. “As a global corporation, we abide by the stringent norms of governance and compliance with all the applicable laws and always practice ethical norms across the world,” it said.
The tender in question, floated by the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) earlier this year, saw a tariff difference of 27 paise between the lowest and the highest bidders.
SECI in August decided to cancel bids received for 2,400 MW capacity, and awarded the remaining 600 MW capacity to Acme Solar, which quoted the lowest price at .₹ 2.44 per unit.
SB Energy had placed a bid for 1,100 MW capacity quoting tariff of .₹ 2.71 per unit. ReNew Power had also placed a bid at the same tariff for 500 MW capacity.
The bids were cancelled on the grounds that the difference between the highest and the lowest tariffs discovered through the bidding process was much higher than the normal deviation of around 10 paise p'er unit.