China Sunergy ships from new Turkey facility

14. June 2013 | Industry & Suppliers, Markets & Trends | By:  Jonathan Gifford

Only days after officially opening its new Turkish plant, China Sunergy (CSUN) has announced that it has commenced shipments. The production facility will have a capacity of 300 MW in modules and 100 MW of photovoltaic cells, when fully ramped.

Women working at the CSUN fab. Photographers look on.

Local workers have been employed at the CSUN factory, while a team of Chinese engineers assist with the ramp.

CSUN’s Turkey plant has begun shipping modules. The company announced today that it would deliver 6.4 MW of modules between mid-June to August 2013, to an unnamed French customer.

In the face of EU tariffs on Chinese photovoltaic modules, the new fab looks a canny strategic move by the Chinese manufacturer. However the decision to establish the new facility was made before the European Commission antidumping investigations began. The turkey plant project was officially launched in July 2012.

On top of being able to circumvent the tariffs, an additional benefit of the new facility is that CSUN can supply the European market from Turkey more quickly. CSUN’s Engin Yaman said that the company would be able to supply Europe in three to four weeks from its new facility. This is a 50% reduction in delivery time when compared to supplying Europe from its Chinese base.

The production facility has been tooled largely with existing equipment from China.

Yaman, CSUN’s General Manager for Central Europe, said that the company plans to source the majority of materials for its modules from Turkish suppliers, meaning its modules will qualify for domestic content bonuses under the country’s FIT scheme by Q4 2013. The comments were made at a Solarpraxis workshop on the Turkish photovoltaic market, in Berlin last week.

CSUN also believes that the facility is well situated not only to supply Europe, but also the emerging Turkish market and the MENA region.

While Turkish employees are continuing to be trained to work at the new facility, 60 CSUN engineers have traveled to Turkey to assist with ramping up the fab. Half of those engineers will be in place for 6 months, with the remaining Chinese staff staying on for a full year.

In a statement China Sunergy, CEO Stephen Cai said he was delighted to announce the initial shipments from the facility. "The modules will be shipped directly from Istanbul, Turkey to France, which marks a significant milestone in our enhanced global production chain, as we believe our Turkey plant provides us with an effective buffer against the negative impact due to Europe's anticipated anti-dumping tariffs."

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