As per BloombergNEF, once the new announced 60 GW capacity comes online, GCL SI’s annual module production capacity will increase from 7.2 GW today - and will allow the Chinese vertically integrated PV company to cater to almost 51% of the global module demand. (Photo Credit: GCL Integrated Technology Co. Ltd.)
- GCL SI announced plans to build a solar panel production fab with 60 GW annual production capacity
- The Hefei, China planned fab is estimated to cost RMB 18 billion in four phases to enter construction between 2020 and 2023
- First phase with 15 GW annual capacity is planned to enter construction in 2020 and will be followed up by 3 phases, also of 15 GW each
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Chinese solar panel manufacturer GCL System Integration Technology Co. (GCL SI) has revealed its plans to build a new factory in China with an annual solar panel production capacity of 60 GW. The Hefei province fab was said to cost an estimated RMB 18 billion ($2.54 billion) to build.
In a stock exchange filing, GCL SI said the capacity addition will take place in four phases starting with 15 GW from 2020 for an estimated value of RMB 5 billion ($704.7 million). Once this becomes operational, remaining phases will follow with 15 GW each. The entire capacity should enter construction between 2020 to 2023. GCL SI said the Hefei Super Factory will focus on producing modules with 210 mm (so called M12) silicon wafer technology.
According to BloombergNEF, the current solar PV module production capacity of GCL SI is 7.2 GW. Bloomberg pointed out the 60 GW annual capacity plan of GCL SI is double of what China installed through the year in 2019 at 30.11 GW, and will be able to supply close to 51% of solar installations globally.
At present, the world’s largest solar module producer is JinkoSolar with an annual capacity of 16 GW at the end of 2019. By the end of 2020, it plans to increase it further to 25 GW (see JinkoSolar Exits 2019 With RMB 898.7 Million Net Income).
With this announcement, GCL SI has joined the list of fellow Chinese companies that have made similar declarations for massive capacity expansions in the integrated PV supply chain. For instance, LONGi is planning to have 45 GW of monocrystalline wafer production already by 2020, and quickly expand capacities beyond that. Tongwei Group recently said it wants to have between 80 GW to 100 GW of aggregate high efficiency solar cell production capacity by 2023.
This is a surprising announcement of GCL, which is itself currently in a restructuring phase after the market has turned to monocrystalline silicon ingots/wafers, while GCL has been for years not only the world’s largest wafer manufacturer but fully focussed on multicrystalline ingot/wafer technology.