Chinese PV Industry Brief: Higher cell prices and plans for 36 GW of new cell capacity

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China’s largest solar cell manufacturer, the Tongwei Group, announced on Monday that the price for both G1 and M6-based monocrystalline PERC solar cells will rise to CNY0.97 ($0.13) per watt, which represents a strong increase compared to the previous price of CNY0.89 set on July 24. For a 156.75mm mono PERC cell, the price was raised to CNY0.95 per watt from CNY0.87. Both cell types saw price increases of nearly 9%. This is the second time Tongwei has raised its prices in the past three weeks. Prices announced on July 24 were raised by about 10%. Tongwei said the price hike was due to increasing polysilicon prices, which are now above CNY90 per kilogram, while in early June they were at around CNY60 per kg. The manufacturer said the price had been rising across the entire PV industry supply chain since the middle of July after two separate incidents at factories owned by Daqo and GCL-Poly disrupted global supplies of polysilicon.

Another major Chinese solar cell manufacturer, Aiko Solar, announced last Friday that it would invest CNY20 billion ($2.8 billion) in 36 GW of new cell production capacity. New capacity will be added to those of existing factories in Yiwu, Zhejiang. According to Aiko, the capacity expansion plan will be implemented in four phases. Aiko said all the lines would be automatized smart lines and compatible with larger wafer sizes up to 210mm.

Chinese Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) capsulation supplier, Hangzhou First Applied Material, signed an agreement with Japanese electronics manufacturer Kyocera Corporation during the 2020 SNEC show in Shanghai. Through the deal, First Applied has secured exclusive patent authorization from Kyocera for anti-acid technology that makes it possible to reduce the degradation of solar cells by suppressing the generation of acid in EVA under ultraviolet sun rays. The two companies said they would work together in researching and development of new capsulation material.

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Sources close to China’s central government told pv magazine that the proposal of issuing bonds to pay renewable energy subsidies had been approved by key governmental departments, including the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) — the country’s central bank, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). Corporate bonds with a total of no more than CNY140 billion will be issued by the State Grid and China Southern Power Grid as the first source of funding by the end of 2020. The two national state grids are said to be preparing the issuance plans and reporting to their competent authority, China’s State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, for approval. There is still uncertainty about the level of bond interest.

Inverter manufacturer Ginlong Solis on Monday released its financial results for the first half of 2020, which show significant increases in both revenue and profits. The company posted an operating income of CNY727 million — 77% more than in the same period a year earlier. Net profit rose to CNY118 million, a 282% increase over the first half of 2019.

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