China-owned CIGS manufacturer Avancis breaks ground on 1.5 GW fab

Avancis, the Germany-headquartered, China-owned solar PV manufacturer, has begun work on a new 1.5 GW CIGS fab in Bengbu, Anhui province, China, in what promises to become one of the largest CIGS manufacturing facilities in the country.

CNBM, the Chinese building materials group that is the parent company of Avancis following an acquisition in September 2014, is part-funding the $1.62 billion project via its engineering and project development branch CTIEC, with partners Bengbu Investment Group and the Bengbu Gaoxin Investment Group also stumping up capital.

The initial phase of the CIGS fab will be a 300 MW production site with a total floor space of 55,000 square meters. Production at this site is penciled in for 2017, and the completed fab will cover a total area of 270,000 square meters.

Avancis will supply all of the CIGS technology for the fab, which – according to Avancis CEO Franz Karg – will enable greater cost reductions given the larger economies of scale at play.

"In addition to the basic cost benefits of a fully integrated thin-film production, this expansion also enables us to take advantage of volume effects for further cost reductions," Karg said. The development of a Chinese CIGS fab will also open up the world’s largest solar market to the Avancis’ technology, he added.

Plans to continually expand the existing Avancis production line in Germany to meet European demand will not be affected by the project in China, the company confirmed.