Longi plans two new production lines in China’s PV heartland

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Chinese monocrystalline PV manufacturer Longi has announced plans to expand production capacity with the help of a rights issue that is expected to complete this week.

The Xi’an-based company hopes to raise RMB3.88 billion ($580 million) from the release of new share capital and is likely to put most of that windfall towards the RMB5.85 billion cost of two new factories.

Longi announced plans today for a RMB4.3 billion, 15 GW annual production capacity ingot and wafer fab and for a separate, RMB1.55 billion, 3 GW cell factory. Both facilities will be built in the city of Yinchuan, provincial capital of the Ningxia Hui autonomous region in China’s northwestern PV heartland.

Longi said the cell factory is expected to be operational in the first half of next year with the ingot and wafer fab due to follow in the second half.

The solar giant is the latest of China’s Tier 1 PV producers to invest in aggressive expansion on the back of an expected solar gold rush this year, with China targeting grid parity solar energy and PV markets around the world flourishing.

The expansion plans were announced despite Longi’s expectation – in unaudited annual figures – to have seen a 28% fall in profits last year, compared to performance in 2017. That reverse came despite an anticipated 34% leap in sales revenue in 2018.

This article was amended on 18/04/19 to add in the capacity figure of Longi’s new cell factory and to reflect the year on year performance estimate mentioned related to the pending, 2018 annual report, rather than this year’s anticipated figures.