Canadian Solar to build 5GW n-type wafer plant in Thailand

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Canadian Solar TOPCon modules at RE+ 2023 in Las Vegas. Image: Jonathan Touriño Jacobo for PV Tech.

Global solar manufacturer Canadian Solar will build a 5GW n-type wafer production facility in Chonburi, Thailand.

Production is expected to start in March 2024 with a nameplate annual capacity of 5GW and be initially used to supply the existing TOPCon (tunnel oxide passivated contact) cell manufacturing plant in the same location.

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From 2025 onwards the wafers will be used to supply the US solar cell production facility the Canada-headquartered manufacturer is building in Jeffersonville, Indiana, once it is fully operational.

Thomas Koerner, senior VP at Canadian Solar, said: “Establishing this solar wafer factory in Thailand is a key milestone that will enable us to better serve our US customers with a more diversified and resilient supply chain, complementing our recently announced investments in the US in solar cell and solar module manufacturing. Importantly, it will also allow us to responsibly meet the new requirements related to the latest and adjusted AD/CVD ruling by the US Department of Commerce.”

Earlier this year the US Department of Commerce published its ruling where it found that five solar PV manufacturers have been circumventing its import tariffs by relocating minor portions of their supply chains to Southeast Asia. However, the tariffs are still suspended until July 2024 under US president Joe Biden’s two-year waiver.

Following the August ruling, Koerner spoke with PV Tech and said: “The final determination is an expected and positive outcome for Canadian Solar and the industry. Although Canadian Solar does not agree with the final determination of the DOC that it has been found circumventing, Canadian Solar is able to manage the adjusted scope of the 2012 and 2014 AD/CVD case in this final ruling where the p/n junction of a cell no longer is the defining process step of a country-of-origin definition.”

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