Chinese PV Industry Brief: a 15 GW factory, new standards and solar glass output


Solar module manufacturer Risen Solar says it has signed an agreement with the municipal government of Yiwu City, in Zhejiang province, for the construction of a 15 GW solar cell and module manufacturing facility. Total investment will amount to around RMB20.6 billion (US$2.9 billion). The project will be developed in two phases, with a 5 GW cell and module first stage envisaged within two years. The balance would be added in the following three to five years. Risen did not disclose production equipment technology details in its announcement on Friday.

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has put out for consultation a draft document recommending all new monocrystalline solar cells have conversion efficiencies of at least 23%, with 20% suggested for modules. With industry-standard mono Perc cell efficiencies in China sitting at around 22.4-22.7%, the grandiose production strategies which have been a feature of the Chinese solar manufacturing sector since last year would be likely to disappear overnight. The proposed policy has yet to be adopted into law and would not be applied retrospectively but if it is promulgated, it could rein in production capacity announcements which have added up to around 100 GW of new fabs this year alone.

State-owned energy company Datang Group has started its annual procurement of PV racks and trackers for its projects this year and next. The company is seeking 3,595.5 MW of fixed, adjustable and floating racks and single-axis trackers. According to the tender document, 820 MW of the components will be used for floating projects with the rest for ground-mounted solar plants.

Shenzhen-listed manufacturer China South Glass on Monday announced it intends to raise RMB4.03 billion with the private issuance of 921 million shares. Most of the funds raised will be invested in a manufacturing business producing high-transparency solar panels. The fab would be in Anhui province and built within two years.

PV glass company Xinyi Solar said on Monday that based on trading on the first five months of the year, first-half profits would be up 35-50% on the HK$953 million (US$123 million) banked in the first six months of last year. Parent company Xinyi Glass confirmed, three minutes later, its first-half profits are expected to be down 25-40% on the HK$2.12 billion reported for that period of last year, in part thanks to the Covid-19 crisis suppressing demand for auto and float glass.

Hong Kong-listed solar developer SFSY on Monday offered to extend a repurchase program related to US$415 million worth of senior notes the company issued in December. The China Shuifa Singyes Energy business has already repurchased US$77 million on the open market and has now offered to repurchase a further US$70 million for US$870 per US$1,000 worth of notes held, although the offer is not extended to U.S. citizens. The offer will expire on Monday.

Chinese solar developer SFCE has again postponed the release of details about a shareholder vote related to a proposed RMB469 million sale of six solar projects with a total generation capacity of 140 MW. Details of the vote were set to be published on May 8 but were delayed until Friday and have now been put back again, to June 30.

Chinese automaker BYD’s monthly figures for May indicated sales of electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids, more than halved from 119,082 in May last year to 46,512 last month. On the same comparison, sales of conventional SUVs rose from 3,440 to 15,887.

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