JinkoSolar to build cell and module facility in Malaysia

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JinkoSolar had previously indicated that the move was on the cards in its 2014 full year reporting and now further details have emerged. Without reading too much into the announcement’s timing, it should be noted that press releases have been coming thick-and-fast from Jinko since a fire at its facilities was reported on Tuesday of this week.

Jinko has not indicated what specific cell or module technologies will be deployed on the Malaysian lines, however it does note that the facility, “will utilize the latest high efficiency multicrystalline technology.”

A tenancy agreement has been signed with Nationgate Technology for the factory buildings.

“The Malaysian plant will be our first overseas cell production facility and its module capacity will add to our overseas module capacity, currently located in South Africa and Portugal,” said JinkoSolar CEO Kangping Chen. “By expanding our production capacity geographically, we are further diversifying our global manufacturing layout and enhancing our competitiveness in overseas markets.”

JinkoSolar will presumably be able to export cells and modules from the facility to both the U.S. and EU without incurring AD duties or having to comply with MIP respectively.

Malaysia is becoming an increasingly popular location for solar manufacturing, with First Solar, Panasonic, Hanwha Q Cells and SunPower all producing various solar products in the country. Malaysia offers tax breaks to manufacturers establishing operations in the country.

A recent New York Times article concluded that the country is now the third largest PV exporter, behind China and the EU. With manufacturing expansions underway at a number of manufacturers and new facilities like Jinko’s and Silicon Valley’s Solexel, it is likely to soon overtake EU in the production ranking.

“Malaysia continues to support the growth of the renewable energy industry by leveraging its competitive cost environment, relatively advanced industrial capabilities, talent pool of well educated engineers, and preferential tax policies,” added JinkoSolar’s Chen.

The Jinko project is “strongly supported” by the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority and the local government, the company reports.