LONGi Plans 1 GW Cell/Module Factory In India

China’s LONGi Expands Planned Production Capacity In Andhra Pradesh Facility From 500 MW To 1 GW Monocrystalline Cells & 1 GW Modules
04:57 PM (Beijing Time) - 06. February 2018
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After announcing huge expansion plans for its wafer manufacturing in China, LONGi announced its first cell/module factory in India. It already operates manufacturing facilities abroad - in Malaysia. (Photo Credit: LONGi Solar)

Key Takeaways

  • LONGi increases previously planned production capacity of its Andhra Pradesh factory under construction
  • From earlier 500 MW of cell and module capacity each, it now plans to build 1 GW of monocrystalline cells and 1 GW of module manufacturing capacity
  • Total investment on the project is expected to be 1.94 billion Yuan ($307 million)
  • The Indian odule factory is scheduled to enter operations by the end of August 2019 and cell production will start in January 2020
  • New expansion plan is expected to support $380 million in annual sales and roughly $19 million in net profit annually
  • It will also be setting up a 5 GW monocrystalline module project in Chuzhou, Anhui province of China

The world’s leading monocrystalline solar wafer manufacturer and a top 10 solar module maker, LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd. from China, has firmed up its production plans for India. It has decided to expand the capacity of its planned solar cells and modules factory in India’s Andhra Pradesh state even before production has started.

Instead of the earlier plan of 500 MW capacity, it now wants to build 1 GW capacity of monocrystalline cells and 1 GW of module production. The expanded module factory is scheduled to commence production by the end of August 2019, the cell factory is planned to enter operations in January 2020.

In September 2015, the State Government of Andhra Pradesh and LONGi had signed a project investment contract for a 500 MW monocrystalline high-efficiency cell and 500 MW module production capacity.

The capacity expansion from the earlier proposed 500 MW is in response to India’s ‘rapidly-rising demand for solar energy and increase LONGi’s overseas sales’. LONGi plans to invest 1.94 billion Yuan ($307 million), that includes about $240 million in construction related investment and roughly $68 million in working capital to double the capacity of its cell and module factory in Andhra Pradesh.

The expansion of our Andhra Pradesh factory is part of LONGi’s global growth strategy. While global demand for solar modules continues to grow, LONGi is making moderate capacity investments in select markets to hedge against the risks of trade protectionism, while remaining focused on the Chinese domestic market,” said LONGi. “According to preliminary estimates,  the new expansion will support $380 million in annual sales and roughly $19 million in net profit every year.”

This expansion plan follows the company’s recent announcement to have 45 GW of monocrystalline wafer production by 2020. It had earlier planned to touch 20 GW by 2019 (see LONGi Plans 45 GW Mono Wafer Capacity By 2020). LONGi Solar had recently also announced it plans to set up a 5 GW monocrystalline module project in Chuzhou, Anhui province with an investment of about 1.95 billion Yuan ($310 million).

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The Indian project will be managed and operated by Lerri Solar Technology (India) Private Ltd., which is jointly owned by LONGi and its wholly-owned subsidiary LONGi Solar. Lerri Solar India was established in April 2016 and has its registered office in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh.

With countries and regions around the world increasingly imposing trade tariffs on and investigating cheap imported solar modules into their countries, Chinese manufacturers have started production outside their countries – first in neighboring Asian countries, but as of recently also directly in protected PV markets. Following President Trump’s 30% tariff on imported cells and modules, Chinese manufacturer JinkoSolar is exploring to set up a module factory in the US (see JinkoSolar Plans US Module Factory).

While this expansion would be a strong foothold for LONG in the Indian PV market that’s targeted to grow to 100 GW by 2020, the Chinese company foresees some potential risks to its project. These include power shortages, possible policy adjustments and possible trade disputes. However, the Indian project will be the second production location abroad; Longi already manufacturers wafer and modules in Malaysia

At the end of 2017, LONGi’s production capacity of monocrystalline silicon wafers reached 15 GW, increasing by 100% over 2016. Module capacity was 6.5 GW, increasing 30% over the previous year, while cells production capacity reached 3.5 GW.

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Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews

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