Longi to triple wafer capacity to 45 GW by 2020

Bullish Chinese solar firm, Longi Solar has already turned industry heads in 2018 with a series of bold production expansion announcements in China and India, and today the world’s leading producer of monocrystalline PV products has unveiled an ambitious roadmap that would see the firm triple its wafer capacity in just three years.

A press release issued by the company today plots a course to 45 GW of mono wafer capacity by 2020, rising from 15 GW at the end of 2017 to 28 GW by the end of this year, 36 GW by the end of 2019, and 45 GW by the end of 2020.

Longi states that this three-year plan will be introduced in lock-step with continued production cost reductions, and has been carefully plotted to ensure a smooth global supply of monocrystalline products for the solar industry.

The company’s target is to boost capacity while ensuring the standard silicon/non-silicon cost of new wafer products remains below RMB 1 ($0.16) per piece, and for its wafers to consistently reach a level of quality to support the conversion efficiency for mainstream PERC cells of more than 22.5%, accounting for 1% degradation in mass production.

Longi’s current mono production capacity is mostly handled in China, at the 10 GW wafer site in Yunnan Chuxiong and the 5 GW mono ingot site at Yunnan Lijiang. The company also has 500 MW capacity in Kuching in eastern Malaysia, and will complete a third 5 GW ingot factory in Yunnan Baoshan in October this year.

Earlier this week, the company also confirmed that it will build 2 GW of cell and module production capacity in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

In an interview with pv magazine MD, Eckhart K. Gouras in December, Longi Solar’s overseas marketing VP Max Xia said that mono is poised to build significantly on its 40% market share over the coming years, reaching 50% market share within 12 months.

Xia confirmed at the time that Longi was targeting an end-of-year production capacity of 25 GW, but that target has already been revised upwards on the back of strong order volumes and an expected increase in demand for bifacial mono PERC cells in China and globally.

To read the full interview, pick up the February issue of pv magazine, published February 14.