SunEdison’s recently announced feasibility study to potentially establish a fully integrated PV manufacturing complex, including FBR polysilicon production in partnership with the Saudi Arabian government may be closer to reality than previously thought.
SunEdison recently revealed plans for the US$6.4 billion complex and highlighted that it was working with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of the Government of Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Arabian Investment Company (Sanabil Investments) on the feasibility of the project.
The company noted that a preliminary study had already been carried out with the National Industrial Clusters Development Program (NICDP) in 2013.
However, Ahmad Chatila, CEO of SunEdison said in a conference call discussing fourth quarter financial results that he was “very excited about the initiative, and we'll talk more about it in the future as it gets finalized and moves forward”.
Chatila’s comment strongly suggests that the possibilities of the potential massive deal contained a higher level of certainty than previously believed and also tie in with SunEdison’s plans to require as much as US$15 billion in annual project financing to support its plans to become a leading global downstream PV project developer.
Although the company uses an asset-lite manufacturing model currently, the significant future project plans would require a strong low-cost in-house manufacturing strategy as well.
“As a leading brand in a high-growth industry with a fragmented market, we are optimistic about our continued long-term megawatt growth. Our growth is not only fueled by project demand based on our experience and track record but also by strategic initiatives such as the one we recently announced regarding our activities in Saudi Arabia,” added Chatila.