Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Qiangsheng to invest $400 million for thin film solar cell production

By Chen Qide (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-12-11 09:40

Nantong in northern Jiangsu Province is set to become one of China's key thin-film amorphous silicon solar cell manufacturing bases after Nantong Qiangsheng Photovoltaic Technology Co Ltd (QS Solar) announced it had launched a $400 million project.

A senior company manager said yesterday that the project, China's largest of its kind, will be carried out in three phases within three years.

The first phase, which consists of three sets of 25 MW production facilities, will see the first set put into operation by mid-January of 2008, Sha Xiaolin, chairman of QS Solar, said.

Sha said the company invested $25 million importing the world's most sophisticated production line from the United States to manufacture 25 MW solar panels.

The other two, which could cost up to $40 million, will be installed next year through risk investment from overseas financial institutions, he said.

Sha said QS Solar planned to list in the US by the end of next year to collect funds for more production facilities.

"We aim to raise funds of $200 million from the US securities market to finance nine 25 MW production lines, which will be installed by 2009," he said.

QS Solar has signed agreements with some foreign banks for funds, but Sha gave no details.

But he said there is "no problem for funds", because the production of thin-film amorphous silicon solar cells was a promising industry.

A company source said the 12 facilities will have the capacity to produce 300 thin-film amorphous silicon photovoltaic solar panels by 2009.

QS Solar plans to increase its production lines up to 20 by 2010 to have a capacity of producing 500 MW thin-film amorphous solar cells. The investment will reach $400 million.

Since 2000, China has witnessed rapid development of its photovoltaic industry, which produced 450 MW solar cells in 2006. The output is expected to increase by 50 percent by the end of 2007.

A report from the United Nations Environment Program said China had the capacity to produce 3,000 MW solar cells, ranking first in the world.

But 95 percent are polycrystalline silicon solar cells and exported overseas because domestic users cannot afford the high price, Sha said.

QS Solar will have a capacity to produce 500 MW solar cells by 2010 with the price will drop from 4 yuan per kWh to 1 yuan.

No comments: