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Tata Solar Boosts Production as India Prepares for Duties

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May 28 (Bloomberg) -- Tata Power Solar Systems Ltd., a unit of India’s biggest industrial group, increased production capacity, saying it expects demand to pick up as the nation prepares to slap duties on competing equipment imports.

The company has expanded panel-making capacity at its Bangalore plant by 60 percent to 200 megawatts, according to an e-mailed statement today.

Indian solar equipment makers had idled about 70 percent of production capacity in the last three years after losing orders to foreign competitors. The government has taken steps to support domestic manufacturing, including a decision last week by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry to recommended dumping duties on solar imports from China, the U.S., Malaysia and Taiwan.

The expansion was prompted by “the expected increase in demand due to supportive policy steps announced recently,” Tata Power Solar said.

India also reserved half of the capacity it awarded in its latest national auction of solar licenses for developers that pledged to use domestic equipment. That rule prompted a complaint by the U.S. government to the World Trade Organization accusing India of unfairly protecting local makers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in New Delhi at npearson7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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