TMEIC building Indian inverter fab, eyes global expansion

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TMEIC, the Japanese venture between Toshiba and Mitsubishi that produces solar inverters, has announced plans to grow into emerging PV markets with the help of a fifth overseas production facility.

The company is currently building a second inverter fab in the Indian state of Bengaluru to add to its two Chinese and one U.S. facilities. The new fab is slated for completion next year and will augment TMEIC’s ability to service growing solar markets, the company’s energy and environmental business division president Hisayoshi Kobayashi told Bloomberg.

"Now that we have completed localizing production in three major countries, our next targets are emerging markets like Latin America, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Australia," Koyabashi said.

Earlier this year the company confirmed plans to increase its overseas, non-domestic production capacity to 7 GW annually. Across its four completed manufacturing sites – Bengaluru, Houston, Shanghai and Yancheng – TMEIC currently has a little under 2 GW of inverter production capacity.

The company’s globalization plans come at a time of uncertainty in the Japanese solar market, particularly the large-scale sector that TMEIC supplies with its central inverters. According to TMEIC’s Shuji Tanaka, who works in the firm’s marketing department, the plan over the next two years is to increase the foreign shipment share from 50% currently to 70%.

In the year ended March 2016, TMEIC’s global shipments reached 3.6 GW, placing the firm fifth overall in terms of market share, behind SMA, Hauwei, Sungrow and ABB. This figure represented a sizeable increase on the 2.5 GW of inverters shipped in the 12 months prior.

The company also recently took order for the delivery of its 1,500 volt Solar Ware central inverter from juwi Inc. for a solar project it is constructing in Colorado.