Chinese PV Industry Brief: New 5 GW heterojunction solar module factory, increasing wafer and cell prices


China-based wind turbine manufacturer Mingyang Smart Energy announced on Wednesday a plan to enter the solar manufacturing business by building a heterojunction solar cell and module manufacturing facility at an unspecified location in China. The company intends to invest  RMB 3 billion (around $465 million ) in the factory, which will have a capacity of 5 GW for both cells and panels. The first phase of the project, with a capacity of 1 MW, will be finalized by the end of this year. Another 1 GW of production capacity should be deployed next year and the remaining 3 GW by 2024.

China's largest solar cell manufacturer, Tongwei, announced on Wednesday an increase in the prices of its solar cell products, just five days after the last increase. The company's quoted price for both polycrystalline and mono PERC single/double sides cells (166 mm) climbed by 7 cents to RMB 0.83 and RMB 0.99 per watt, respectively. The price of mainstream mono PERC single/double sides cell measuring 158.75 and mono PERC single/double sides cells (210 mm) were priced at RMB 1.02 and RMB 0.99 per watt, respectively, with an increase of 6 cents.

Module maker Longi also announced an increase in price for all its mono-crystalline wafer prices. The latest price for the G1 product (158.75mm) is RMB 4.39 per piece, with an increase of RMB 0.49 (or 12%) compared to the previous price. The price for M6 wafers (166mm) is now RMB 4.49, with RMB 0.49 and a 12.3% increase. For the largest M10 (182mm) wafers, the price increased by RMB 0.53, around 10.9%, to RMB 5.39 per piece.

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Polysilicon manufacturer GCL-Poly on Wednesday confirmed the June 4 creditors’ meeting required to vote on its plans to issue replacement three-year senior notes for $500 million worth that were not settled when they fell due at the end of January. If creditors approve the proposal, it will be sanctioned a week later.

There was another sign of the easing of solar glass supply shortages on Tuesday as PV glass supplier Xinyi Solar reduced the amount of float glass it will buy from float glass manufacturer and controlling shareholder Xinyi Glass in the second half of the year. Having capped the volume at 115,000 tons during the first six months, at a cost of no more than RMB 305 million ($47.3 million), Xinyi Solar extended the agreement to the end of the year but will buy a maximum 45,000 tons for no more than RMB 120 million ($18.6 million) from July to December. Xinyi Solar said rising solar glass volumes in the first three months of the year meant module manufacturers were in less need of its processed float glass as an option for the back cover of panels. The company also added two of its own solar glass production lines in the first quarter, taking its daily melting capacity from 9,800 to 11,800 tons, further reducing its external float glass demand.

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