TSEC to increase Taiwan solar production capacity to 1.6 GW

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The Taiwan Solar Energy Corp. (TSEC) – one of Taiwan’s largest crystalline silicon solar cell and module manufacturers – is set to double its production capacity in order to meet surging solar demand.

TSEC has announced that capacity at its Taiwan fab will rise from 800 MW currently to between 1.5 GW – 1.6 GW by 2017, as confirmed to pv magazine by William Liao of TSEC’s marketing department.

With current factory utilization standing at more than 90%, TSEC cannot satisfy demand and will need to embark on capacity expansion in order to maintain its recent growth.

"The solar industry has been growing rapidly over the past decade by a double-digit percent," said TSEC chairman Ellick Liao at the company’s IPO ceremony at the Taiwan Stock Exchange this week. "This year, demand from solar panel installations will grow more than 20% annually in terms of capacity.

"Demand," he added, "has never been a problem. We expect demand will continue to grow modestly."

TSEC enjoyed a profitable 2014 (posting a profit of $5.23 million), but has suffered losses in the first half of this year as Chinese demand has weakened on the back of the ongoing trade dispute with the U.S.

Domestically, the company is hoping to double the number of solar power plants it operates via its subsidiary, Formosa Sun, to more than 100, while internationally its high-efficiency solar cells remain in demand, the chairman added.

"We expect growth momentum to strengthen gradually throughout this year," Liao said.