Trina Solar to set up module making facility in Thailand

By Editor


Chinese photovoltaic services and solutions provider Trina Solar officially announced the establishment of a subsidiary and production unit in Thailand recently. This would be the company’s first such overseas facility.

The subsidiary, Trina Solar Science & Technology (Thailand) Ltd, will build the factory with capacity to produce 500 MW of modules and 700 MW of solar cells.

The manufacturing unit is to be located at Rayong in Thailand and will require an investment of $160 million from Trina Solar for its establishment.

The facility is expected to start production toward the end of this year or in early 2016.

Zhiguo Zhu, the chief operating officer and president of the module business unit of Trina Solar, said: “Thailand is ideal for a manufacturing base as it is near key emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific and provides favorable investment environment in terms of land acquisition and labor costs.

“Thailand is also a particularly attractive PV market given its sunny environment, long-term PV subsidies, and favorable government policies toward the solar sector.”

In its recently released annual report for 2014, Trina Solar had stated its expected capital expenditure for 2015 to reach about $370 million.

According to the report, the company also planned to expand ingot, wafer, cell, and module capacity to 2,900MW, 2,300MW, 4,100MW and 4,400MW, respectively by the end of the year.

One observation, though, is that the factory is being established as a result of the introduction of anti-dumping duties in the US where the photovoltaic market is growing.

Market research firms have projected the demand for photovoltaics in the US to exceed 9 gigawatts in 2015. And Trina Solar is among the key suppliers of modules to the US market.

Zhongli Talesun, a PV manufacturer based in China, is building an assembly plant in the Thai-China Industrial Park, Rayong, Thailand.

The 500 megawatt factory will be assembling solar cells and modules and will start operations from October this year.

Recently JinkoSolar, a business rival of Trina, also announced its decision to locate a solar cell and module assembly plant in Malaysia to serve the US market without having to pay the US duties.

And although Trina Solar had on previous occasions announced its own plans to expand production facilities outside China, the company had neither revealed the location nor the capacity of the plant.

Ajith Kumar S

[email protected]

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