Project SBG Cleantech to boost Modi’s Clean Energy Mission

In a bid which would be a big boost to Narendra Modi’s Clean Energy campaign, Japan's telecom and Internet major SoftBank, Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group have Monday formed a joint venture, SBG Cleantech which will invest around $20 billion over 10 years into green energy projects.

"Our eyes are trained on India, given the vast potential that the country offers. We have already made considerable investments in the technology sector here. With this partnership, our goal is to create a market-leading clean energy company, to fuel India's growth with clean and renewable sources of energy," Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank, said in a joint statement.

SoftBank will own a majority stake in the Renewable energy project, while Bharti and Foxconn will take minority stakes, subject to certain conditions, in the venture which will bid for solar and wind energy projects across different states.

SBG Cleantech will have Manoj Kohli, a Bharti veteran, as Executive Chairman and Raman Nanda, as the CEO and will be headquartered in Delhi.

"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," Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises, 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.

Mittal added that this project will immensely contribute to the Hon'ble Prime Minister's vision of meeting the country's energy demands through clean sources. "Just as mobile phones have connected every Indian, renewable power has the potential to provide every Indian with access to electricity; SBG Cleantech underlines our commitment to India's growth plans not only by eliminating energy deficit but also providing clean environment to the future generations of India." Son said that the venture will initially import equipment for the projects but as and when it gets sufficient land, it will look to manufacture in India.

SBG Cleantech will be a harbinger of solar and wind energy. Following the Indian Prime Minister's 100GW solar and 60GW wind target by 2022, the venture will invest in and develop renewable energy plants across India. The company 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.

"Harnessing renewable energy is a key pillar in our SER strategy and we are excited to join our industry partners, SoftBank and Bharti, in championing clean energy solutions in India through SBG Cleantech, and supporting the country's efforts to grow its renewable energy industry," Terry Gou, Founder and CEO, Foxconn Technology Group, said.

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