JA Solar has announced a plan to construct a project in the Ordos High-Tech Zone, with an annual production capacity of 30GW ingots, 10GW silicon wafers, and 10GW modules. The total investment amounts to about RMB6.02 billion (US$870.1 million).
JA Solar reviewed and approved the proposal for investing in the construction of integrated capacity during a meeting of the company’s sixth board of directors, planning to set up a new project company as the primary entity for the investment, operation and management.
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|Capacity||Project||Investment Subject||Planned investment (RMB1,000)||% to latest audited net asset|
|Wafer & module||Annual production of 30GW of ingots, 10GW of wafers and, 10GW of modules in Ordos High-tech Zone||New project company||6,020,125.00||21.89%|
Prior to this, JA Solar signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement with the government of Ordos City on 19 January, planning to construct a low-carbon PV industrial park in the city, including the production of 150,000 tonnes or 100,000 tonnes of PV raw materials, 20GW of monocrystalline ingots, 20GW of silicon wafers, 30GW of PV cells, 10GW of solar modules, as well as supporting materials and projects, with a total investment of about RMB40 billion.
JA Solar will use the abundant green power resources in Hangjinqi, a region in southwest Inner Mongolia, to produce150,000 tonnes or 100,000 tonnes of PV raw materials. In Dalateqi, a region in western Inner Mongolia, the company will produce 20GW monocrystalline ingots, build a 10GW green intelligent module manufacturing capacity and supporting materials. They will develop a 20GW silicon wafer and a 30GW high-efficiency new-type solar cell sector in the High-Tech zone.
On 23 March, JA Solar also announced that they had planned to invest in the Ordos High-tech Zone to construct a project with an annual production of 20GW wafers and 30GW cells with a cost of RMB12.8 billion.
JA Solar stated that the purpose of the Ordos High-Tech Zone project is to form a complete vertical integration industry chain layout in the northwest region, which aligns with the company’s future capacity planning strategy. Once the project is in operation, it can effectively increase the production capacity of high-efficiency products to meet the market demand, thus increasing the company’s market share and integrated profitability.
JA to expand high-quality capacity: A great year for cell expansion
Based on the announced expansion plans, 2023 is a year for JA Solar to build its capacity, while it will focus on upstream wafer projects in 2024.
According to the plan, JA Solar will have a capacity of about 40GW for p-type cells and 36GW for n-type cells by the end of 2023, with an additional 20GW of n-type cells under construction. In its 2022 annual report, the company expects its module capacity to exceed 80GW by the end of 2023, with silicon wafer and cell production capacity reaching around 90% of the module capacity.
JA Solar recently stated on an investor research platform that every production sector within the company is currently operating at full capacity. The company will adjust production lines based on market demand and supply chain changes.
Looking forward, the company will continue to operate at full capacity. On 29 May 2023, JA Solar’s 10GW module project in Xingtai began operations which is boosting overall production. China Yangtze Power New Energy’s research report estimates that module shipments could reach 15GW, while total module shipments in 2023 could reach 65GW in Q2 2023.
In addition to JA Solar, leading industry players such as Jinko Solar, TCL Zhonghuan, Trina Solar, Shangji Automation, and Hoshine Silicon have announced capacity expansion plans since the beginning of the year, increasing their integrated production capacity.
JA Solar also talked about the risk of overcapacity. Over the last 20 years, the PV industry has witnessed rapid technology and product upgrades. In a broad sense, the term “capacity” includes both outdated capacities and those that haven’t been put into production as planned. The statistics were far beyond market demand for a long time. However, value-for-money products with high performance are usually insufficient.
According to incomplete statistics, there are 86 professional cell manufacturers, module and wafer developers, and companies with the business spanning multiple sectors. Additionally, the number of cell manufacturers far exceeded the number of wafer manufacturers.
Based on the capacity targets and expansion plans disclosed by the manufacturers, the total capacity of TOPCon (tunnel oxide passivated contact), heterojunction, and IBC products among 80 manufacturers will reach 1151.4GW this year, while the planned total call capacity will reach 801.9GW.
2023 – Solar Cell Capacity
|Company||2022 capacity||2023 capacity||New plan||Tech – route|
|Quanwei Technology||/||/||10GW planned||HJT|
|Solar N Plus||2GW||12GW||12GW-T||TOPCon|
|Mingyang Smart Energy||/||2GW||3GW||HJT|
|Guanzhong New Energy||/||2GW||/||TOPCon|
|Taiheng New Energy||/||5GW||/||TOPCon|
|SPIC New Energy||/||2.5GW||2.5GW||HJT|