Both U.S. tariffs and the EU’s Minimum Import Price agreement have provided strong incentives for Chinese PV makers to move production overseas, and Southeast Asia has been a prime destination for the largest manufacturers. In recent years JinkoSolar, Trina, Canadian Solar and Yingli have all established production in either Thailand or Vietnam.
Last week GCL-Poly joined the ranks of Chinese manufacturers that have announced production in Southeast Asia, with plans for 600 MW of annual PV cell production through a partnership with Vietnam’s Vina Solar.
According to a financial filing (in Chinese), GCL’s Systems Integration subsidiary is investing CNY 222 million (US$32 million) and will supply production and test equipment for the cell lines. These will be located in existing Vina Solar facilities in Vietnam, and Vina will operate the cell lines. 330 MW of this capacity will be for passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) high-efficiency PV cells.
GCL System Integration’s board has approved the investment, and the company specifically noted that this move was important for growing its presence in U.S. and European solar markets as well as reducing the cost of cell manufacturing.
GCL-Poly is the world’s largest polysilicon and wafer maker, and in recent years has aggressively expanded into cell and module production.