Astronergy has started construction on a 200MW amorphous/micromorph-silicon thin-film PV module manufacturing facility in Jiuquan, Gansu Province, China. The timeline for completion and initial ramp-up of the factory, which represents a RMB 2.9 billion (US$437 million) investment, was not disclosed.
In a recent official company visit to Gansu, Nan Cunhui, the founder of Astronergy's parent, Chint Group, signed “A Strategic Cooperation Framework Agreement for the Solar Industry” with Gansu's Development and Reform Commission. The deal calls for Astronergy to set up 1000MW in grid-connected PV projects before 2020 with the full support of the Chint Group.
The companies have also agreed to invest in and establish 200MW of PV cell and module production before 2015; the production facility is projected to generate RMB 20 billion (US$3 billion) in annual sales once it's operational, according to company officials.
Until now, Astronergy has purchased turnkey silicon thin-film production solutions from Oerlikon Solar, but the equipment supplier's role in the new factory remains unclear.