EkoRE plans 1 GW vertically integrated PV factory in Turkey

Turkish solar and renewable energy project developer, Eko Yenilenebilir Enerjiler A.S. (EkoRE) is planning to build a 1 GW solar PV module factory in Niğde, in the Turkish region of Central Anatolia.

According to information provided to pv magazine by EkoRE’s business development manager, Selen Inal, the factory will produce everything from ingots to wafers, solar cells, and PV modules; and will be located in the Bor Organized Industrial Zone (OIZ).

The company also revealed that on April 9, the project was awarded “special project” status under the Turkish government’s “Project Based Investment Incentive System,” a 2.2 billion TRL (around US$534 million) incentive scheme launched in August 2017, aimed at raising investments in the country.

The scheme grants a series of incentives, such as exemptions from income tax, some permitting fees, like those for the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) and construction; infrastructure support; reduced electricity prices; salary assistance; and favorable financing conditions.

“The most important feature of this new system is that it is ‘Project Based’ and each project may be granted a flexible and customized incentive mechanism by the Ministry of Economy based on the nature of the project and investment,” Sinal stated.

Products manufactured at the factory are set to be distributed on a global scale, the company said, thus explaining its decision to locate the factory in Niğde, which is close to both the Mersin Port and Niğde-Aksaray Airport (expected to soon be functional).

The Ömer Halisdemir (Niğde) University, which currently operates a cell production laboratory, will also cooperate with the project in terms of R&D activities and human resources.

No more details about the factory or the PV technology it will rely on were provided. “We are now actively searching for investors, and we believe that the awarding of the ‘special status’ project by the government will boost this process,” Sinal concluded.

In addition to China Sunergy’s 300 MW module factory and to a 600 MW solar cell and module factory commissioned by Chinese group HT-SAAE at the beginnging of 2017 , there is just one other, 1 GW, factory under construction in Turkey. Under development by Korea-based Hanwha Q Cells, it is expected to be completed this November.

*the article was updated on March 19. In our previous version of the article, we hadn’t included HT-SAAE’s solar factory in Tuzla among the manufacturing facilities in operation or under development in Turkey.