Hanergy to add 300 MW of flexible CIGS capacity in China

Since its acquisitions of CIGS manufacturers Solibro, MiaSolé and Global Solar, it has long been expected that Chinese PV contender Hanergy would develop manufacturing capacity for one or all of its technologies in China. Today’s announcement, that it will add 300 MW of flexible CIGS production in Hunan Province is the first step towards the company doing this, although it is unclear which of its technologies it will develop.

If Hanergy is successful with its plans to build the 300 MW of flexible CIGS capacity it will make it the largest flexible PV manufacturer by quite some considerable margin. Roofing in which weight is an issue – such as membrane roofing – and consumer electronics markets are seen a promising markets for flexible CIGS modules or cells.

In a pattern that is common with Hanergy’s manufacturing strategy, the company will build the fab in partnership with local government support, with the local development authority and the Changde Government both supporting the endeavor.

Fully owned Hanergy subsidiary Beijing Jing Cheng Platinum Solar Power Equipment Company Limited will carry out the construction and fit out of the fab. The land for the factory will be leased to Beijing Jing Cheng at a “concessionary rate.” The statement reads: “the Changde Government shall be responsible for the construction of the production factories and relevant ancillary engineering facilities.”

Construction of the fab is set to be completed by June 2016. Beijing Jing Cheng will purchase the fab from the Changde Government six years after: “the Project has obtained its industrial and commercial business license.”

Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Limited made today’s announcement. The controlling shareholder is Hanergy Holding. Hanergy Holding and its subsidiaries are a part of the Hanergy Group.

It is not announcement whether it is the flexible application of Silicon Valley CIGS developer MiaSolé or Colorado’s Global Solar that will be employed in the Changde City fab. Hanergy Holding announced the sale of Global Solar to Hanergy Hi-Tech last week for $1. Hanergy Hi-Tech is not mentioned in today’s media statement.

Hanergy has announced plans to construct 5.25 GW of capacity in CIGS manufacturing. One external tool order worth €15 million (US$18.65 million) has been announced, with German equipment supplier Singulus Technologies. Although this is thought to be for Solibro equipment, which produces glass substrate CIGS modules.

While such plans are sure to capture headlines, Hanergy has a reputation for big announcements. Hanergy had previously announced plans to construct 4.75 GW of a-Si manufacturing across a number of fabs throughout China. These were developed in cooperation with local authorities. This capacity has largely not eventuated or at the very least shipments have largely remained untracked by major industry analysts.