- TZS has reportedly started trial production at its 10 GW wafer manufacturing project
- Trial production started at the end of 2019 and the company held a low key launch ceremony on May 24, 2020
- Entire capacity will produce M12 wafers with 210 mm sizes; TZS aims to increase the annual capacity here to 19 GW by year end
Chinese solar wafer manufacturer Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor (TZS) has started trial production on its DW Smart Chemical Plant project with an annual production capacity of 10 GW. Here, the company will produce 210 mm size wafers (M12) and plans to take the annual capacity of the fab to 19 GW by the end of 2020.
Local media outlet Photovoltaic Frontier says the company held a low-key launch ceremony on May 24, 2020 though trial production started at the end of 2019. It has invested RMB 2.5 billion (349.5 million) on the 10 GW manufacturing project that’s located at the Marine Science and Technology Park in Tianjin Binhai High-Tech Zone.
DW here stands for diamond wire cut technology and smart refers to the high level of automation used for the factory. As per the report, the management is confident production efficiency of the DW Smart factory can be increased by more than 70% and labor efficiency by 4 to 5 times once the plant is complete as some construction work still remains to be done.
TZS hopes to be ready for mass production of M12 wafers from this 10 GW project beginning Q3/2020 onward.
After launching 12-inch large wafer product calling it Kwafu M12 series with 210 mm side length in August 2019, TZS is now betting big on 210 mm wafers as leading cell and module producers are staring to commercialize products with this wafer format. Tongwei is working on its 7.5 GW PERC monocrystalline silicon solar cell fab on M12 format, while Aiko Solar achieved mass production for its 210 mm solar cells that it plans to sell commercially from H2/2020. Another Chinese cell producer Yingfa Group is also planning a 7.5 GW fab to produce solar cells on M12 wafer size.
In March 2020, GCL System Integration revealed plans to launch a factory with 60 GW annual production capacity in Hefei, China to produce modules with 210 mm wafer size. While TZS’s competitor LONGi has stopped mass production of M2 wafers, it now mainly focuses on 166 mm wafer sizes.