Longi outlines aggressive expansion plans as annual figures are released

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The world’s biggest monocrystalline silicon module maker has made bullish predictions about its intent to continue to expand its factory output as it released its annual report.

Xi’an-based Longi Solar has outlined plans to develop a mammoth 65 GW annual production capacity for silicon ingots and wafers by the end of 2021, and intends to be able to produce 20 GW of solar cells per year and 30 GW of modules by that point.

The production plans are a signal the company is placing its faith in a new solar dawn which will see Chinese PV rebound as emerging markets around the world gain ground on the world’s biggest solar market.

However, the actual annual report for 2018 and first-quarter figures for this year are yet to be posted in English on the Shanghai exchange where Longi is listed. The press release issued by Longi this morning to publicize the annual accounts outlines rising revenue and net profits last year without offering any detail about product prices, the cost of and funding sources for such ambitious capacity expansion plans or the state of the company balance sheet at the end of last year.

Still number one

Longi claims independent figures show it cornered 40% of the monocrystalline wafer capacity market last year, to maintain its global ascendancy.

Revenue posted a 34% rise on 2017’s figures, to come in at RMB22 billion ($3.27 billion) last year and net profit came in at RMB2.56 billion, according to the Longi statement. That was on the back of a 59% year-on-year rise in the volume of monosilicon wafer pieces shipped, to 3.48 billion.

Longi says it also shipped 50% more cells and modules last year – some 7.07 GW worth, and expanded exports to Europe, India, Latin America, Japan, Australia, Africa and the U.S.

With Longi claiming a 28 GW annual ingot and wafer manufacturing capacity at the end of last year, the company wants to add a further 8 GW this year and see the figure rise to 50 GW at the end of next year and 65 GW at the end of 2021.

Longi is planning to have a 10 GW cell manufacturing capacity by the end of this year, with expansions to 15 GW next year and 20 GW in 2021, and has similar plans for its module output. The opening of the 5 GW Chuzhou module fab in Anhui province last month will help it towards 16 GW of output capacity this year, with plans to raise the figure to 25 GW next year and 30 GW in 2021.