‘Silicon Module Super League’ (SMSL) member Canadian Solar reported stronger third quarter financial results than expected and increased full-year shipment and capacity expansion guidance, while guiding fourth quarter revenue in the record range of US$1.77 billion to US$1.81 billion.
Canadian Solar has now made four revisions to capacity expansion plans for 2017 and provided expansion plans for 2018 for the time.
The SMSL member noted that it had completed the ramp up of a new multicrystalline silicon ingot casting workshop at Baotou, China at the end of the third quarter of 2017, with a total annual capacity of 1,100MW, which included capacity relocated from its plant in Luoyang, China.
The company noted that it expected debottlenecking to push capacity to 1,200MW by the end of 2017, which is in line with the last two updated plans.
Canadian Solar said that it had plans further increase its ingot capacity to 1,720 MW by June 30, 2018, and may expand to 2,500MW if market conditions justify.
Wafer manufacturing capacity had reached 3GW in the third quarter of 2017. The company had previously guided that it expected wafer capacity to reach 4GW at the end the year.
However, Canadian Solar noted that its shift to diamond wire-saw technology, which is compatible with the Company's proprietary and highly efficient Onyx black silicon multi-crystalline solar cell technology, helped to significantly offset the recent impact of polysilicon price increases that impact margins and so was planning to add a further 1GW of wafer production to end the year at 5GW.
The company said that its solar cell manufacturing capacity reached 4.7GW at the end of the third quarter of 2017, which was the target in its third revision to its capacity expansion plans.
However, Canadian Solar said that it planned to add additional cell manufacturing capacity at its Funing and South East Asia plants by year end, bringing 2017 cell nameplate capacity to 5,450MW, a 750MW increase.
Subject to market conditions the SMSL said it planned to add another 1.5GW of cell capacity in 2018 to reach approximately 7GW by the end of 2018.
With respect to PV module manufacturing capacity, Canadian Solar is adding almost 1GW of nameplate capacity more than its third revision made in the second quarter of 2017, which would have led to a 2017 capacity of 7,190MW.
The company expects that its total worldwide module capacity would exceed 8,110MW by the end of 2017.
Subject to market conditions again, the SMSL member said it planned to add another 1,250MW of module capacity by the end of 2018, bringing nameplate capacity to 10.3GW.
Canadian Solar is the first manufacturer to guide nameplate module capacity to reach over 10GW.