Renewables

EU probes two Chinese solar suppliers amid dumping concerns

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Photo: adege from Pixabay

Published

April 8, 2024

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Published:

April 8, 2024

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The European Commission has opened two in-depth investigations into the potentially market distortive role of foreign subsidies obtained by two bidders in a 455 MW solar power project in Romania. The two consortia in question include subsidiaries of China’s Shanghai Electric Group and LONGi Green Energy Technology, and the news comes amid complaints over “unfair trade practices” of Chinese solar suppliers.

There are sufficient indications that both consortia have been granted foreign subsidies that distort the European Union’s internal market, according to the commission. The aim of the probe is to establish “whether they may have allowed the companies to submit an unduly advantageous offer in reply to a tender,” it added.

The public bidding procedure was launched by Romania’s Societatea Parc Fotovoltaic Rovinari Est and the project is partly financed by the EU’s Modernisation Fund.

European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton has said that the two new in-depth investigations on foreign subsidies in the solar panel sector aim to preserve Europe’s economic security and competitiveness by ensuring that companies in the single market are truly competitive and play fair. “Solar panels have become strategically important for Europe: for our clean energy production, jobs in Europe, and security of supply,” he noted.

Breton: The investigations aim to preserve Europe’s economic security and competitiveness

The news comes amid calls for the European Commission’s reaction to Chinese solar manufacturers’ “unfair trade practices” in the EU market. European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union Mairead McGuinness said earlier this year that a surge in imports had slashed the prices of photovoltaic equipment in the EU by more than 40%, benefiting citizens and installers, but posing a challenge for European manufacturers.

However, McGuinness ruled out antidumping measures, saying they should be activated only when they are “in the overall union interest.”

The first investigated consortium is led by Romania’s ENEVO Group, but includes LONGi Solar Technologie GmbH, a fully-owned German subsidiary of LONGi Green Energy Technology, a major supplier of solar photovoltaic solutions, listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

The second consortium is composed of Shanghai Electric UK and Shanghai Electric Hong Kong International Engineering, both 100% owned and controlled by Chinese state-owned Shanghai Electric Group. The two companies are global suppliers of industrial-grade energy solutions, and they provide services on wind, solar and hydrogen storage, as well as an integrated process of generation, grid, load, and storage.

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