Hanergy announces plan for 1 GW manufacturing facility in Saudi

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Beijing-based thin-film giant Hanergy claims to have stolen a march on its Chinese rivals by signing a memorandum of understanding with a Saudi business for a $1 billion-plus, 1 GW “solar thin-film industrial park” in the kingdom.

Hanergy yesterday highlighted in a press release about the agreement that was light on detail, that it was “the only Chinese renewable energy company invited to attend” a launch event for a national initiative that is part of the kingdom’s Saudi Vision 2030. The National Industrial Development and Logistics Program is one of 12 initiatives that make up the vision, which aims to fire Saudi growth in energy and industry, as well as mining and logistics.

Curiously, Hanergy’s Saudi partner is Riyadh-based clothing manufacturer Ajlan & Bros, which has committed to “collaborate to develop renewable energy manufacturing facilities in Saudi Arabia and conjointly seek relevant investment opportunities”.

With the projected development billed as the first thin-film production facility in the region, the Hanergy release said Saudi minister for energy, industry and mineral resources, Khalid A Al-Falih, “encourages Hanergy to localize its products and production lines in Saudi Arabia, contributing to the country’s sustainable new energy plan”.

The statement about Monday’s MoU signing did not specify where the production facility would be sited or where the billion-dollar investment needed for it would come from.

A spokesman for Hanergy told pv magazine: “As it’s still in a preliminary stage, more details of the contract we can’t release.”