ET Solar: Switching directions with new manufacturing strategy

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Chinese manufacturer ET Solar now has its eyes set on Southeast Asia. The firm has just established ET Solar Technology (Vietnam) Co., LTD, and says it will start production at its new facility in the country by the end of this year. It also plans to bring another new plant online in Cambodia later this year. The company says that the new manufacturing strategy will support the strong market projections of North America, India and Europe in the coming years.

“The new facility in Vietnam will be manufacturing mono PERC, bifacial cells,” Alex Chen, head of sales and marketing at ET Solar, Inc., told pv magazine. The company is planning for 500 MW of cell production at the new location by the end of this year. “Our longer-term plan includes four stages and our total cell production capacity will eventually reach 2 GW per year by Q1 2021.”

The company says that an additional 300 MW of cell capacity will be produced at a new plant in Cambodia, where it will also assemble modules. “The module line will produce mono, poly, half-cell and dual glass bifacial,” says Chen. The production of PV modules is also planned for 300 MW of capacity, according to the company.

When asked about the significance of the U.S. marketplace surrounding its new Southeast Asia production, Chen said, “Starting in 2020, we will be delivering significantly more manufacturing capacity to the U.S. market.” Following a restructuring and change of management, the manufacturer’s U.S. business received new investment this February.

“This capital will not only support U.S. operations, but also be invested in R&D to improve the stability and reliability of our product – this includes mono, poly, bifacial and half-cut modules,“ says Chen.

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The company says that it has signed new supply deals to support the market.  “We estimate that, in total, these deals will add 600 to 800 MW of new capacity to serve the U.S. market next year,” adds Chen. “Since the bifacial module has been exempted from the 201 tariff, we can provide this product to developers, with improved energy production at a reduced cost.”

In addition to the U.S., the manufacturer highlights Europe, India, Japan as key markets, and says that it is targeting different products to given areas and sectors. “We have our own internal system for BOM procurement, logistics and risk management, which ensures the best service to customers across the globe,” says Chen.

The company entered the African solar market this year, and based out of Kenya, says it is offering products for both on-grid and off-grid solar applications.

 

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