Leading PV manufacturer Trina Solar had its plans to build a manufacturing plant in Malaysia opposed by a Malaysian government agency, according to news reports.
The reports cite Ali Askar Sher Mohamad, chief operating officer of the Sustainable Energy Development Authority, opposing the plans due to the need to protect the solar industry in Malaysia and fears over the country being used as simply a trans-shipment hub to avoid US and EU anti-dumping duties.
Trina Solar had highlighted in 2014 that it was undergoing site selection analysis of potential locations for its first manufacturing plant outside China, which would be located in the Southeast Asia region.
However, Trina Solar announced in early May 2015 that it had selected Thailand, with initial solar cell nameplate capacity of 700MW and 500MW of module assembly capacity. Production was planned to commence in late 2015 or early 2016.
Since then, Trina Solar has announced future plans to team with several companies in India, totalling 2GW of manufacturing capacity, though timelines and locations remains uncertain.
The reports are also misleading as major tier-one producer JinkoSolar announced it would soon be operating a large new manufacturing plant in Malaysia and could have been accused of the same things as Trina Solar.
According to PV Tech’s own quarterly report on new global manufacturing capacity expansion announcements, just under 1GW of new capacity in Malaysia was announced in 2014 and 1.7GW in the first-half of 2015.
In comparison, only 100MW of new capacity was announced for Thailand in 2014, yet already in 2015 that figure has topped 2.2GW.
Malaysia is already home to a number of leading PV manufacturers' overseas bases, including First Solar, Hanwha Q CELLS, SunPower and Panasonic.