JA Solar breaks ground on $1bn Vietnam solar cell factory: reports

Chinese Tier-1 solar company JA Solar on Saturday broke ground on the construction of a new $1 billion solar cell factory in Vietnam, according to reports by local media outlet Viet Nam News.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held at a location at the Quang Chau Industrial Park in Vietnam’s Bac Giang province. JA Solar in the summer secured land rights to lease an 88 hectare plot at the site, which will now see an initial investment of $320 million over three years pour in.

JA Solar has not yet confirmed additional details of the final planned size of the solar cell fab, but it was reported that the construction and subsequent operation of the facility will provide 3,000 jobs and be worth around $500 million per year in turnover for the firm.

The Chinese company has a nameplate solar cell capacity in Malaysia of close to 1 GW, and the Vietnam plant would serve to augment its overseas production hubs that are intended to serve the U.S. and European markets – markets that remain prohibitively expensive for Chinese-produced solar components due to the various trade barriers in place.

In September the company voluntarily withdrew from the EU’s Minimum Price Undertaking (MIP) – a move triggered by the continued price declines of solar modules and JA Solar’s increased overseas capacity.

At the time, JA Solar CEO Baofang Jin said that the current MIP does not reflect recent price trends in the market, and stressed that it "adversely impacts our ability to execute our business strategy".