Ecoprogetti awarded 250 MW PV production line in Vietnam

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Ecoprgetti SRL signed the contract last week and received the order confirmation today, February 22, from a Vietnamese investor to install a 250 MW fully automated PV production line in Vietnam.

The manufacturing line can produce 130 modules/hour, considering 99% yield. “The line will produce glass-backsheet (GB) modules based on the standard solar cells with 5-6 bus bars,” Laura Sartore, Managing Director, Ecoprogetti, told pv magazine.

She mentioned that the line has the capability to produce glass-glass (GG) modules, but it depends whether the company wants to manufacture them.

“Since it is still a new market, we are beginning with standard AL-BSF solar cell technology. PERC cell will be used over the period, depending upon the demand and market growth,” Sartore added.

The manufacturing site is 15 km from the capital city, Hanoi. Apart from supplying to the domestic market, the company also wants to export modules to the U.S., and other western markets.

Aside from the technical data, Sartore mentioned, “the line is not limited to just manufacturing equipment supply, but our Global service pack is provided with it as well.”

She said that a package includes a wide range of services that can reduce the ramp-up time, start-up costs, and that will increase cost effectiveness and provide a significant advantage to the new business.

Ecoprogetti claims that it is the biggest line in Vietnam and the installation will be completed by June 2018.

The manufacturing project is a first step for the Vietnamese investment group in the solar market. Based in the north of Vietnam, the company has already bagged a number of power park orders, initially totaling 60 MW.

Sartore and Rajen Shah, MD, Ecoprogetti – India, who is handling South-East Asia market, were both in Vietnam last week to sign the contract.

Opportunity in Vietnam

Targeting growth of 25% power consumption per capita annually, the government of Vietnam launched its solar program for the domestic market in 2017. Despite the growth, however, not more than 2% of rural households have access to electricity.

The Vietnamese government has aimed to promote and reach a 20% share of renewable energy sources in its energy mix, with solar taking the lead.

Comprehending the demand and opportunity to invest and install production lines in Vietnam, Sartore said, “Importing PV modules from other countries (like China) to fulfill all of this local demand cannot be the only solution. If the Vietnamese market has to grow, the growth has to be achieved locally in Vietnam.”

She added, “… having next-door production sites close to the huge solar power parks can really bring the change, not only in the energy side but also socially and economically.” She continued, “it will help in generating new jobs locally, increasing the economic conditions of the rural areas and the whole country of Vietnam.”

“Therefore, we feel that there is a huge space not only for one single line but many new production sites and “locally produced megawatts” in Vietnam.”

Ecoprogetti said that it is soon to open a new Service Center in Vietnam to guarantee customers timely assistance, and provide support for training, know-how transfer, and process development.

In December 2017, the company has finalized an order of 200 MW line in the Philippines. Now, with this new project, Ecoprogetti’s worldwide portfolio now stands at roughly 7 GW.