Soltec reaches record order backlog, warns of logistics disruptions

Soltec recently secured significant tracker supply deals in Spain and the US. Image: Soltec.

Spanish tracker manufacturer Soltec posted a sharp increase in its order backlog in the first half of the year, but said logistics disruptions will impact its margins in H2.

Having been affected by delays in PV project development in Q1, the company’s backlog of signed contracts pending execution reached a new high of €363 million (US$423 million) at the end of June, representing a 91% increase on the same period last year.

Soltec’s pipeline (projects with a certain probability of success) stood at €2.9 billion, up 35% compared to June 2020, from orders in more than 20 countries.

In Spain, the company recently secured deals to supply trackers for 234MW of solar plants being developed by Statkraft and 142MW of projects from Endesa.

It also announced a 700MW solar tracker supply contract with Moss & Associates earlier this month that will see it provide its SF7 bifacial trackers for two plants in Colorado.

While Soltec closed the second quarter with revenues of €58.6 million, a 7% rise year-on-year, adjusted EBITDA was -€12 million, compared with -€8.1 million in Q2 2020.

Soltec revealed that for 2021, revenues for its tracker supply division will be in the range of €395 million to €440 million, a significant jump on the €236.2 million figure recorded last year.

However, the company warned that global disruptions, mainly caused by the changing conditions in international logistics, as well as the lack of staff resources in certain countries, will have a direct impact on margins in the second half of the year. EBITDA margin for the tracker supply unit for 2021 is forecasted to be in the range of -1% to 1%.

Challenges surrounding logistics have been also raised by rival tracker suppliers Array Technologies and FTC Solar, with the latter revealing in its Q2 results statement last month that shipping and logistics costs were around US$10 million higher than expected during the quarter.

Soltec’s solar project development business, Powertis, rotated 679MW of capacity in Italy and Spain during the first half of the year and has since announced its entry into Denmark, where it has a project pipeline of more than 150MW.

With a presence in six markets – Brazil, Spain, Italy, Denmark, the US and Colombia – Powertis grew its pipeline from 5GW at the end of 2020 to 7.1GW as of June, and is expected to have a 10GW pipeline by the end of the year.

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