Chinese solar gold rush or no, the aggressive expansion plans of solar manufacturers in the world’s solar heartland continue to be good news for PV equipment suppliers willing to trade on the thin margins dictated by Far Eastern buyers.
With Swiss equipment maker Meyer Burger having been forced to sell off its corporate headquarters and parts of its business recently to make ends meet while it awaits returns from European manufacturers, German rival RENA Technologies has announced bumper orders for 10 GW of solar production lines in the last three months.
Although the Black Forest-based solar production equipment supplier gave few details in a press release issued yesterday, a company representative confirmed to pv magazine the clients which have placed PERC cell manufacturing orders with the company are based in China.
Gütenbach-based RENA said the recent orders would be worth “tens of millions of euros” to the supplier, giving an indication of the sort of profit margins which prompted Meyer Burger to turn its focus back on to its domestic market and a hoped-for renaissance in high-efficiency, more sustainably manufactured solar products in Europe.
Solar booms outside China
Not that RENA is complaining. In yesterday’s understandably bullish press release, CEO Peter Schneidewind said: “We truly appreciate the confidence that our long-standing Chinese customers put in us. With the new large scale orders, the solar industry sector is contributing to the further growth of the company alongside the semiconductor, glass and medical technology sectors. We are internationally recognized as a global leader in technology, particularly on the Chinese market, where we are excellently positioned.”
While there is no indication of a much-trailed second-half boost in solar demand in China, overseas orders continue to persuade the big Chinese solar manufacturers to expand, with Risen the latest producer to report blossoming net profits of RMB783 million (€100 million) for the first nine months of this year, on operating income of RMB9.77 billion.
Those are the sort of solar returns Meyer Burger, and presumably RENA, can only dream of.
This copy was amended on 29/10/19 to confirm the Asian clients mentioned were Chinese.