LONGi withdraws from Romanian PV project after EU ‘market distortions’ investigation

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LONGi headquarters
Following LONGi’s withdrawal, the EC will close its investigation. Image: LONGi

Solar manufacturing giant LONGi has withdrawn from a public procurement process for a Romanian solar project after the European Commission (EC) launched an investigation into possible “market distortion”.

Following LONGi’s withdrawal, the EC will close its investigation. LONGi issued the following statement on the matter:

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“LONGi 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.”

The EC launched investigations in April into two consortia, one consisting of LONGi’s German subsidiary and the ENEVO Group; and the other comprising Shanghai Electric and a UK subsidiary. The investigations were due to suspicions of “market distortion” and violating the EU’s Foreign Subsidies Regulation (FSR).

The FSR is designed to limit the effects of foreign financing on the EU market and mitigate the undue influence of non-EU governments in the bloc. Non-EU companies must disclose financing from non-EU governments made towards joint ventures with a turnover of more than €500 million (US$428.6 million) or where the foreign financial contribution is more than €50 million (US$42.9 million).

The project in question is a proposed 110MW solar park in Romania, for which a tender was offered by Societatea Parc Fotovoltaics Ronvinari Est S.A., a Romanian contracting authority, with some support from the EU Modernisation Fund.

In early March, the chairman of LONGi issued a statement urging the Chinese government to crack down on the “unsustainable” low-price of solar modules in China and subsequently across the world. Later that month, reports emerged that the company was likely to slash its workforce by around 30%.

Last week, the chairmen of fellow Chinese solar giants Trina Solar and JinkoSolar said that module prices had almost reached their bottom and might begin to stabilise in the future.

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