Longi, Shanghai Electric withdraw from controversial EU tender

Consortia featuring subsidiaries of Chinese solar module maker Longi and Chinese industrial conglomerate Shanghai Electric have withdrawn from a public procurement tender for a solar park in Romania. The European Commission opened two anti-subsidy investigations into their involvement, which have now been closed.

Longi and Shanghai Electric have withdrawn bids from a public procurement tender for a solar farm in Romania, bringing an end to two investigations into whether they had violated EU rules on foreign subsidies by participating in the process.

Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, confirmed the closure of two investigations under the Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR) this afternoon. “The FSR is ensuring that foreign companies which participate in the European economy do so by abiding to our rules on fair competition and transparency,” he said.

Under the terms of the regulation, companies are obliged to notify public procurement tenders in the EU when the estimated value of the contract exceeds €250 million ($271 million) and when the company was granted at least €4 million in foreign financial contributions from at least a third country in the three years before notification.

The contract for the design, construction and operation of the 454 MW solar park in Romania has an estimated value of around €375 million and is partly financed by the European Union.

The two consortia under investigation featured Longi’s German subsidiary Longi Solar Technologie GmbH and Romanian engineering firm Enevo Group, and Shanghai Electric UK and Shanghai Electric Hong Kong International Engineering, two units of Shanghai Electric. At the time of launching the investigation, the commission said “there are sufficient indications that both have been granted foreign subsidies that distort the internal market”. 

In a statement shared with pv magazine, Longi confirmed its withdrawal from the tender, adding that it “is fully committed to working with its partners across Europe to deliver its innovative clean energy solutions and ensure Europe can meet its ambitious renewable energy and climate goals.”

“Solar power is vital for Europe’s economic security,” Breton’s statement added. “We are massively investing in the installation of solar panels to decrease our carbon emissions and energy bills – but this should not come at the expense of our energy security, our industrial competitiveness and European jobs.” 

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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