Last week LONGi Solar, Chinese solar manufacturing giant, confirmed to pv magazine that it was planning the construction of a 1GW manufacturing facility in India. However, in a further announcement published today, the company has increased this capacity to 2 GW following the release of additional funding.
Responding to growing market demand, LONGi will invest $309 million into the project, including approximately $240 million in construction investment and roughly $68 million in working capital, to double the capacity of its monocrystalline cell and module factory in Andhra Pradesh from 500 MW to 1 GW respectively.
Construction on the expanded module factory is underway, and module production will commence by the end of August 2019. Meanwhile, the cell factory is set to start production in January 2020 – a year later than originally planned due to the increased capacity.
Describing the project, Wenxue Li, President of LONGi Solar said: “While global demand for solar modules continues to grow, LONGi is making modest capacity investments in select markets to hedge against the risks of trade protectionism, while remaining focused on the Chinese domestic market.
“According to preliminary estimates, the new expansion will support $380 million in annual sales and roughly $19 million in net profit every year,” Li added.
Li stressed that India is already China’s biggest export market for solar products by sales value. He added that, during 2017, China’s exports accounted for 24.1% of India’s solar products, with sales growth seen in both cells and modules.
The project is being operated by Lerri Solar Technology (India) Pvt Ltd, which is 40% owned by LONGi and 60% owned by LONGi Solar.
Expanding production capacity in India will enable LONGi to take advantage of India’s abundant local resources, low costs and generous policies toward the solar industry. With this opportunity, LONGi is looking to accelerate its overseas expansion and boost its share of the global market for monocrystalline products.