The Brazilian Development Bank, BNDES, has approved a US$9.6 million loan for the construction of a new solar module factory in the state of Alagoas.
Pure Energy, a subsidiary of the Cerutti Engenharia construction firm, received permission in February last year to build the 40MW plant at a total cost of US$16.6 million. The initial 40MW capacity could be extended to 70MW.
It is the first upstream solar investment by BNDES, according to a statement confirming the deal. The bank said it was part of wider efforts to develop domestic solar components, with power electronics firm Adelco and engineering and consultancy firm Soliniva also named as local firms operating in the solar space. Brazil's national solar auctions include a domestic content requirement.
The site will also include a 1MW solar array to power the factory.
Brazil is beginning to show signs of life as a PV end market, with a national solar-only energy auction last October attracting huge interest.
Solar failed to attract any bids in a subsequent all-energy auction, suggesting it continues to struggle to compete with other forms of generation on price. But interest in this potentially huge market has been sufficient to attract international players looking to set up manufacturing facilities in the country.