Chinese PV Industry Brief: Beijing wants to loosen restrictions on glass

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The Chinese government is planning to loosen the existing restrictions on new investments in additional PV glass production capacity, according to a document published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). Under the new provisions, all new projects intending to add glass capacity will not have to submit capacity replacement plans, which have until now required new planned output to replace an equivalent amount of decommissioned capacity. The new regulatory framework, according to the Chinese government, will remove all obstacles for new investments in the solar glass industry and help eliminate the PV glass bottleneck.

Chinese solar manufacturer Akcome announced on Wednesday that it would sell several solar assets worth RMB376 million ($57.5 million) to an undisclosed buyer and that it would use the funds to support its heterojunction (HJT) module production. The company is planning to build a 6 GW HJT panel factory in Taixing City, Jiangsu Province, with which it signed an agreement in November.

Solar panel maker JA Solar announced on Wednesday a plan to add 6 GW of module capacity at its factory in Yangzhou City, Jiangsu Province. The company is investing a total of RMB796 million ($121.7 million) in the capacity expansion, construction of which is expected to last eight months.

Solar cell and polysilicon manufacturer Tongwei announced a cooperation agreement with the government of Leshan City, Sichuan Province, to invest RMB5 billion (USD$758 million) in a partnership with Trina Solar that aims to add 15 GW of ingot capacity. The companies set up the RMB2 billion ($306 million) joint venture, with Tongwei owning a 65% share in the firm and Trina Solar the remaining stake. The new factory will be developed in two 7.5 GW phases and completed by April 2022.

JinkoSolar is preparing to sell up to $100 million worth of American Depositary Shares to finance its production capacity expansion plans, the company announced on Wednesday. Each ADS, which will be placed by Credit Suisse or Barclays, will represent four ordinary shares in the solar manufacturer.

Photovoltaic panel glass maker Xinyi Solar placed 300 million shares in a HK$3.9 billion ($503 million) fundraising exercise which it expects to raise a net HK$3.88 billion to expand its solar glass production capacity and invest in new solar farms. The company on Tuesday cheered investors with a prediction that its net profit this year would come in 75-95% higher than the HK$2.42 billion it posted last year. The welcome news, said Xinyi, was down to a combination of big demand; the company’s new production capacity; a rise in solar glass prices, especially since July; and savings from production efficiency improvements and cheaper raw materials and energy costs. The contribution of the solar glass business will help lift net profits at float glass parent Xinyi Glass by 20 to 35%, year on year.

A green building and curtain wall subsidiary of solar developer and building-integrated PV business China Shuifa Singyes Energy Holdings will invest RMB39.9 million ($6.11 million) to acquire a majority stake in civil engineer Jiangxi Yaxing Construction Co Ltd. The deal, announced on Tuesday, will see China Shuifa Singyes’ Zhuhai Singyes Green Construction Technology Co Ltd unit inject RMB19.9 million into the target company and pay up RMB20 million of unpaid capital in the business related to its acquisition of 40% of stock, which will translate into a 51% stake in the reorganized entity.

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