Yingli Solar forms JV for 300 MW solar panel fab in Thailand, its first outside China

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Vertically integrated Chinese solar company Yingli Solar has today revealed plans to open its first manufacturing facility outside of China – a 300 MW solar panel fab to be located in Thailand’s Pruckdang district of Rayong.

The company’s subsidiary, Hainan Yingli New Energy Resource has created a joint venture (JV) with Thai clean energy EPC Demeter Power to develop the solar fab, with Hainan Yingli investing $19 million for a 40% stake in the JV.

The facility will boast a production capacity of 300 MW and will produce multicrystalline solar panels under the Yingli Solar brand name. Operation of the plant is expected to begin in the second half of this year.

Yingli Green Energy CEO and chairman Liansheng Miao spoke of his pride in establishing the company’s first overseas manufacturing operation, adding: "We hope to expand the new factory’s production capacity across the PV value chain in the future.

"Manufacturing PV panels in Thailand will enable the company to operate more competitively in overseas markets as well as in the emerging markets of southeast Asia," Miao said.

Many leading Tier-1 Chinese solar companies have begun developing overseas manufacturing hubs in efforts to circumvent countervailing and anti-dumping duties applied to solar products manufactured in China by the U.S. and the European Union.

Despite the investigation into such practices being expanded to other southeast Asia locations (in May last year the European Commission extended its solar trade investigation to Malaysia and Taiwan), Yingli and other vertically integrated Chinese solar firms are plowing ahead with manufacturing expansion plans in the region, and Thailand has fast become an attractive destination.

"Thailand’s favorable business climate, coupled with its generous tax incentive scheme, world-class infrastructure and continued government support for the expanding solar power industry make Thailand a perfect place for our new JV with Yingli," enthused Demeter Corporation CEO Apichet Bhusry.