JA Solar, Powerway establish module fab in South Africa

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JA Solar and Powerway are partnering on a module manufacturing facility in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

The Chines companies formed a joint venture to oversee the project. The facility, located in Port Elizabeth’s COEGA Industrial Development Zone, will service customers in South Africa and the broader Southern African region with solar modules assembled from JA Solar’s high-efficiency cells.

Production is scheduled to begin in the second quarter, with the plant targeted to reach an initial annualized capacity of 150 MW. The new fab to is expected to employ more than 200 workers in the area within its first year of production.

JA Solar and Powerway South Africa have the option to expand the production capacity of the facility up to 600 MW to meet growth in regional demand.

Baofang Jin, JA Solar chairman and CEO, said the factory would "play a crucial role as we seek to benefit from the significant growth potential across the Southern African region. Improved cost-effectiveness is making solar an increasingly attractive energy alternative in South Africa. Having a presence on the ground will give us the local knowledge and qualification needed to identify and pursuit the best commercial opportunities while providing better services to our customers."

Charles Domingo, managing director of Powerway South Africa, added that the company was seeing increasing demand for quality solar modules in the South African market.

The "central position of this facility means it is ideally located for exports from the COEGA Port and will serve project sites in Northern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng and the greater Southern Africa region. We already have a long and fruitful relationship with JA Solar and are delighted to be extending that into a new and exciting market," he said.