With all of China’s biggest module manufacturers reporting rising shipment levels for the first six months of the year, Ningbo-based Risen has caught the eye by posting more than twice the uptick achieved by its rivals – helped by huge orders from Ukraine.
Risen reported a 71% increase in the volume of modules it shipped in in the first half, exporting 2.78 GW, compared to the 1,627 MW shifted in the same period of last year. More than a quarter of this year’s first-half shipments – some 736 MW of modules – were sold to customers in Ukraine, helping Risen overtake rivals GCL and Chint in terms of overseas volumes.
Last month Risen started construction of a new factory in Zhejiang province which will have 2.5 GW of annual cell production capacity and the same output figure for modules.
The rise in exports and plans to expand production output are mirrored across the big players as booming markets outside the world’s solar superpower made up for policy uncertainty in China at the start of the year. With Beijing having now settled its new solar policy, the Chinese market is expected to be reinvigorated, starting this month. And with overseas markets showing no signs of slowing, the rationale behind the mooted huge expansions of production capacity is obvious.
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The world’s solar module big beast, Jinko Solar, typifies the trend, with its plan to expand from 10.5 GW of wafer capacity this year while at the same time raising cell output from 7 GW to 10.5 GW and module capacity from 12.6 GW to 16 GW. The manufacturing giant expects to export 14-15 GW of its panels this year.
According to figures collated by pv magazine from the China Photovoltaic Industry Association, customs and company announcements, Jinko shipped 6,423 MW of modules from January to the end of June – 33.6% more than it exported in the first half of last year – to retain its position at the head of the rankings.
That rise in shipments was similar to the advance made by JA Solar, which exported 5 GW of panels to non-Chinese customers, up 33% from the 3.75 GW of overseas sales witnessed in the same period of last year.
JA Solar, however, is likely to have been outstripped by last year’s number two module exporter, Trina Solar. The company has been unable to disclose its overseas shipment figure for the first-half as part of the requirement of its attempt to list in China.
The former NYSE-listed company shipped 4 GW of modules to foreign customers in the first six months of last year and a rise in line with that posted by its peers would take that figure up to around 5.3 GW for January to June this time around.