- Canadian Solar has entered an agreement with Haidong Municipal Government to set up a vertically integrated PV manufacturing industrial base here
- It plans to invest RMB 60 billion to set up the facility comprising 8 sub-projects by the end of 2027 at Haidong Zero-Carbon Industrial Park
- Among other projects, it will mark the company’s foray into polysilicon manufacturing
Canada headquartered solar wafer, cell and module producer Canadian Solar Inc. (CSI) wants to invest RMB 60 billion, its largest manufacturing investment to date, into expanding its production capacity in China which will also mark its foray into polysilicon manufacturing.
The company, which also is active in project development, recently entered into an agreement with Haidong Municipal Government of Qinghai Province to build an integrated PV manufacturing industrial base at Haidong Zero-Carbon Industrial Park by the end of 2027.
According to local media reports, the investment will encompass the following 8 sub-projects:
- 200,000 metric tons (MT) of high purity polysilicon
- 250,000 MT of industrial silicon
- 50 GW monocrystalline silicon rods
- 50 GW of crucibles
- 10 GW of monocrystalline silicon slices
- 10 GW solar PV cells
- 10 GW solar PV modules
- 10 GW of supporting new materials annually
Even for Qinghai, it will be one of the largest integrated crystalline silicon manufacturing bases built on a single tract of land, bringing it a competitive advantage as an industrial location.
At the end of December 2021, Canadian Solar’s total ingot, wafer, cell and module manufacturing capacity stood at 5.4 GW, 11.5 GW, 13.9 GW and 23.9 GW, respectively. It aims to grow the same to 20.4 GW, 20.0 GW, 19.8 GW and 32.0 GW by the end of December 2022 (see Canadian Solar Declares Q1/2022 Financial Results).
Canadian Solar’s plans to venture into polysilicon production follow that of its peer Trina Solar of China that in June 2022 said it will produce 10 GW wafer capacity annually, along with 300,000 ton industrial silicon and 15 GW of BOM by 2025 (see Trina Announces Massive Solar PV Production Plans).
While these plans may be a result of natural progression of these cell and module makers to spread themselves all across the value chain, it must also be driven by the need to become self-sufficient in solar PV manufacturing. The last 2 years have been very expensive for the PV industry with prices for raw materials as polysilicon and glass sky rocketing, and logistics challenges making things even tougher.
As demand for solar and clean energy grows, these companies with deep-pockets and global presence can afford to get into the value chain.