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Modi, Macron inaugurate solar power plant in India’s largest state

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French President Emmanuel Macron to visit Varanasi, inaugurate solar plant in Mirzapur

NEW DELHI, March 12 (Xinhua) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting French President Emmanuel Macron Monday jointly inaugurated a 75-megawatt solar plant built by a French company in the country’s largest state of Uttar Pradesh.

The state’s largest solar plant has been set up by French company Engie Solar in Mirzapur district, some 300 km from Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow.

Modi and Macron flew from Delhi to Varanasi, the parliamentary constituency of the Indian prime minister, from where they went by road to Mirzapur, some 40 km away, for inauguration of the solar power plant.

Solar power in India is a fast developing industry. In January 2015, the Modi government expanded its solar plans, targeting 100 billion U.S. dollars in investment and 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022.

The inauguration of the solar plant came a day after Modi and the visiting French president Sunday co-chaired the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), a flagship Indian initiative launched by the two nations on sidelines of Paris Climate Conference in 2015.

India and France Saturday inked as many as 14 pacts, including on security, nuclear energy and protection of classified information, after Modi held talks with the French president in Delhi and vowed to boost bilateral ties and vowed to fight terror.

The French president and his wife arrived in India late on Friday night on a four-day state visit. This is President Macron’s first visit to India after taking office in May in 2017. He will wind up his tour late Monday night.

The bilateral trade between India and France touched nearly 11 billion U.S. dollars during April 2016 to March 2017. France is the ninth largest foreign investor in India.

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