LONGi's newly announced wafer capacity expansion for 2020 will be a huge jump from its 2017 production capacity of 15 GW.
- LONGi has announced plans to increase its production capacity for monocrystalline wafers
- The leading Chinese mono wafer maker's planned capacity expansion will increase the annual production capacity from previously announced 20 GW by 2019 to 45 GW by 2020
- Focus will be on cost efficient mono crystalline products to meet the demands of growing downstream users
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The world leader in manufacturing of monocrystalline wafer to module technology, LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd., has detailed its biggest expansion plan ever. It plans to have 45 GW of monocrystalline wafer production capacity by the year 2020. Earlier it had plans to increase wafer and ingot production capacity to 20 GW by 2019.
In its ‘Strategic 3-Year Plan for Monocrystalline Wafer Business’ (2018-2020), LONGi shares a rapid phase-wise production capacity expansion towards 45 GW. By the end of 2018, the capacity will increase from the 2017 capacity of 15 GW to 28 GW. Only one year later, by the end of 2019, it plans to touch 36 GW, scaling up to 45 GW by the end of 2020.
LONGi says the step is in line with the growing demand of downstream users in the global industry that has grown with the increase in deployment of PV generation capacity. Many market analysts recently increased their solar demand forecasts. SolarPower Europe, for example, which had already increased its solar market outlook to 98 GW for 2017 and 107 GW for 2018 in September, upped its demand estimate to 119.7 GW in 2019 and 132.6 GW in 2030 in December.
LONGi says it will focus on cost-effective monocrystalline products in an effort to consolidate its leading position in this segment. It will also aim to ensure the standard silicon non-silicon cost target does not exceed 1 Yuan ($0.16) per piece.
Focussing on high-efficiency mono, LONGI last year started to push products for what it calls the PV 3.0 era. At the SPI show in Las Vegas in September 2017, it introduced its 72-cell modules exceeding 360 W, and bifacial technology withup to 400 W – and TaiyangNews talked to LONGi President Zhengguo Li about the company’s plans for the PV 3.0 era (see Entering PV3.0 Era with PV Modules Exceeding 360 W).
The strategic plan states that the capacity will be ‘formed mainly in the country’, but does not specifically mention the location of this capacity expansion. Today, LONGi manufacturers its solar products mostly in China, but also operates capacity in Malaysia.
A year back, LONGi along with fellow Chinese solar companies Trina and Tongwei announced plans to build a 5 GW monocrystalline silicon ingot crystal growth facility in China (see Longi, Trina & Tongwei To Build Ingot Factory). LONGI is also expanding into polysilicon production – in partnership with Tongwei it is building a 50,000 ton factory in Sichuan province.