REC postpones investment decision for 4 GW French solar factory to second quarter


From pv magazine France

Norwegian solar module manufacturer REC, a unit of Chinese chemical company Chemchina, has postponed to the second quarter the final investment decision on the construction of a heterojunction PV module factory at the eastern part of the ZACEuropole II industrial area in Hambach, near Sarreguemines, in the northeastern French region of Moselle.

This emerges from a document published by the French National Commission of Public Debate (CNDP) on the public consultation the company started in February on the project. The manufacturer specified that a public enquiry on the ongoing administrative proceedings with local authorities should take place in May. “These will be the decisive factor in REC Solar France's final decision to create a photovoltaic panel manufacturing plant in Hambach,” it further explained. “The finalizing of financing is now scheduled for the second quarter of 2021.”

REC is planning to produce modules at the facility with a product design already used on a smaller scale at its site in Singapore and based on research by the French Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA), through the Institute National Solar Energy Authority (INES).

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According to the preliminary consultation document, the new factory will cover almost 148,000 square meters. The start of work is expected in June 2021. Everything will be done on-site: production of cells, assembly of modules and quality control as well as receipt of raw materials and shipment of finished products. The plant is scheduled to begin operations in 2022, with 2 GWp produced per year before reaching its cruising speed in 2025, with 4 GWp per year – 9 million photovoltaic panels manufactured annually.

REC is planning to invest €680 million in the project.

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