Longi, Chinas largest monocrystalline silicon manufacturer, announced this week that it has invested RMB3.06 billion ($456 million) in a new ingot and wafer production facility located in Yinchuan, the province capital of Ningxia, China.
The foundations have already been laid for the facility, and a completion date is scheduled for 18 months from now.
Estimated sales revenue from the facility once it is running at full capacity is expected to be in excess of RMB3.4 billion ($517 million), Longi said.
The planned capacity of this mono-silicon ingot and wafer facility will eventually be 3 GW. Longi currently boasts a total capacity of 4.5 GW for mono ingot and wafer production, and the company intends to expand that to 12 GW by the end of 2017.
For modules, Longi enlists its subsidiary company, Lerri Solar, as a platform for module production. Investment in module capacity expansion is also expected to be scaled up. Be the end of 2015, Lerri had more than 2 GW module production capacity, and it is estimated that this will increase to 5 GW by the end of 2016 and 6.5 GW by 2017.
Longi will adopt the most advanced technology in wafer production for the new facility. The company told pv magazine that "we are going to use 100% diamond wire slicing for this project in Ningxia."
Longi added that, due to multi advantages over multicrystalline silicon products, mono products have attracted a growing number of customers and achieved good sales volume in 2015. The proportion of mono in the market place is growing. Data from the China Photovoltaic Industry Association (CPIA) also shows that in China in 2015, "shipments of mono modules significantly increased."