Chinese PV module maker JinkoSolar began work on a $500 million ingot and wafer manufacturing facility in the coastal economic zone of Vietnam's Quang Ninh province in the second quarter of this year. The facility is expected to begin manufacturing activities within six months and to serve the company's cell and module assembly factories in Malaysia, as well as the module assembly facility in the United States.
The manufacturer said planning on the 7 GW factory started in late 2020, with the Vietnamese government giving the approval for the project in March 2021. “The investment decision was made in the second half of last year, prior to the ongoing trade issue with the United States,” it told pv magazine, responding to Vietnamese media articles claiming the new factory is being built to diversify the company's supply chain away from China and as an answer to new requirements from western countries and suppliers.
The trade issue referred to by JinkoSolar relates to the alleged use of forced labor in China's Xinjiang province. The U.S. government announced it wants to ban products from four Xinjiang-based solar manufacturers over those allegations in late June. JinkoSolar was not among the companies named at the time.
The module manufacturer also stressed that the new factory is part of its plan to diversify its production globally. “While overseas supply chains are often associated with slightly higher costs, this investment is expected to assuage concerns by developers and off-takers about the security of supply – an invaluable asset for one of the largest solar module manufacturers in the world,” it further explained.
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