Longi, Trina Solar and Tongwei team on 5GW mono ingot plant

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Longi Silicon Materials, Trina Solar and Tongwei, via its polysilicon subsidiary, Sichuan Yongxiang are to form a Joint Venture (JV) to own and operate a previously planned 5GW monocrystalline silicon ingot pulling production plant in Lijiang City, Yunnan Province, China by Longi. Image: Longi

Three major Chinese PV manufacturers, Longi Silicon Materials, Trina Solar and Tongwei, via its polysilicon subsidiary, Sichuan Yongxiang, are to form a Joint Venture (JV) to own and operate a previously planned 5GW monocrystalline silicon ingot pulling production plant in Lijiang City, Yunnan Province, China, by Longi. 

Longi said in financial filings that it would retain a 60% ownership in the planned production plant, while Trina Solar would hold a 25% interest and Sichuan Yongxiang a 15% stake. 

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Longi had previously announced plans for the 5GW monocrystalline silicon ingot plant in June, 2016 and had initially planned to fund the facility in-house. However, Longi noted that in a JV arrangement it was reducing financial and project risks. 

The company has a range of other dedicated in-house capacity expansions for monocrystalline wafer, cell and modules. 

Silicon Module Super League (SMSL) member Trina Solar is expected to contribute an initial RMB 200 million (US$28.8 million) to the project and Sichuan Yongxiang around RMB 120 million (US$17.3 million). 

Longi still expects to contribute an initial RMB 480 million (US$69 million) to the project, which is expected to incur capital costs of around RMB 800 million (US$115 million). The plant is expected to take more than a year to build and start ramping sometime in 2018. 

According to Finlay Colville, Head of Market Research at Solar Media Ltd, in a new blog on the news, the JV in not unexpected as it forms part of one of the most pro-active technology drives seen for many years within the industry.

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