JA Solar secures $90 million credit line as EC subsidy deadline approaches

Eyebrows will be raised at hard-pressed European solar manufacturers after Monday’s announcement by Chinese panel maker JA Solar and an affiliate of a fresh CNY550 million (US$89.8 million) credit line.

In a press release issued by JA Solar, details were revealed of a new CNY250 million line of credit for the manufacturer along with a CNY300 million facility for affiliate Jinglong Group.

The credit lines are being offered by the Bank of Communications of China which listed the Chinese Ministry of Finance – with a 26.52 per cent holding – as its largest shareholder in December 2011.

The JA Solar press release, which states the money will be used by both entities for ‘working capital and corporate purposes’, goes on to add the credit line comes in the wake of an announcement by the State Council of China last month of incentives, including credit support, to large manufacturers in the People’s Republic.

JA Solar executive chairman and CEO Baofang Jin said: "The credit facility demonstrates JA Solar’s healthy access to capital and ongoing support from the banking community."

The timing of the announcement will put European Commission trade officials in an awkward position with the organization’s deadline for the imposition of provisional anti subsidy duties on Chinese-made solar wafers, cells and modules due to expire on Thursday.

Analysts expect the EC to quietly dismiss the anti-subsidy investigation in the wake of last week’s much-publicized agreement which led to the resolution of the EU’s separate anti dumping investigation into Chinese solar products.

But the EU Prosun group of European manufacturers which initiated both trade cases is sure to have something to say about the latest example of "support from the banking community."