JA Solar announces facility expansion in Malaysia

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Tier one solar player JA Solar is cranking up its production capacity outside of China, with news of a further expansion at its Bayan Lepas production facility. The expansion comes in the face of falling module prices around the work, as an oversupply seems to be taking hold of the industry.

It is just one year since the facility opened in Bayan Lepas on the island of Penang, Malaysia, and already JA Solar has launched its second phase expansion. The company will invest RM 400 million (USD 48 million) in the expansion, which will see the creation of 200 jobs at the plant.

Most notably, the investment will be used to significantly increase the manufacturing output capacity from 400 MW per annum to 1,000 MW per annum. Additionally, it will enable the facility to start producing JA Solar’s new line of Percium solar cells.

“This further investment by them here reflects Penang’s position as a key center for JA Solar and by making its latest products here, JA Solar can ensure that Penang and Malaysia remains at the forefront of the solar industry,” said JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd President Jian Xie during a speech, while also the move was part of the company’s global strategy.

One related development, which may have partially inspired the new investment in the Malaysia facility, is JA Solar’s decision to withdraw from the European Union (EU) pricing undertaking. The company voluntarily withdrew from the minimum import price undertaking, which it had agreed with the EU, as part of the EU’s anti-dumping measures against Chinese PV manufacturers. The withdrawal means that large duties will be charged on JA Solar’s exports to Europe.

However, the measures are not applied to the company’s manufacturing facilities located outside of its domestic location of China. Therefore, its Malaysian facility will be able to supply the European market without the duties being applied.