Trina Solar is expected to announce its first PV manufacturing plant to be based outside of China, shortly. 

Management said during its third quarter earnings conference call that it had been negotiating with an unidentified third-party “strategic partner” to establish a joint venture manufacturing operation in Southeast Asia. It hoped to complete the negotiations shortly and announce the deal. 

Not surprisingly, Malaysia is an obvious location for the plant due to its low labour costs and established PV supply chain with a number of PV manufacturers operating large production facilities in the country. 

Management also noted that other overseas production expansions were being evaluated, including establishing production plants in the US and India. 

However, these would seem to be further down the road, with the Southeast Asia joint venture being the first to be concluded. 

Management said that it was “very near to an agreement of new capacity in Southeast Asia”.

PV Tech has reported that Trina Solar has reached the 1GW per quarter module shipment milestone and guided over 1GW of shipments for the fourth quarter of 2014.

The company, despite increasing capacity this year is still capacity constrained due to module shipment growth guided to be in the range of 40% to 42% in 2014, with shipments guided to be between 3.61GW and 3.66GW. 

PV Tech exclusively reported during SPI in Las Vegas in October that Trina Solar had plans to increase module capacity in 2015 to between 4.8GW to 5GW, a similar rate of expansion as in 2014. However, in-house wafer capacity was being held at 2014 levels of 1.7GW and in-house solar cell production was only expected to increase by 500MW to 3GW.