Taiwanese PV producers mulling options after US imposed anti-dumping duties

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email

The latest anti-dumping (AD) duties set by the US Department of Commerce (DOC) has left Taiwanese producers of PV modules and solar cells considering their options.

It is the first time Taiwan-based producers have been affected by such proceedings and at least one has said it will consider establishing a manufacturing base outside of Taiwan.

The petitioner in the case, SolarWorld, has repeatedly said that a “loophole” had existed since the first AD case that allowed Chinese module producers to use Taiwanese solar cells in modules destined for the US market to avoid duties. However, the original AD case put forward by SolarWorld did not include solar cells made in Taiwan.

According to the preliminary DOC ruling, mandatory respondents Gintech Energy and Motech Industries were found to have been selling products into the US ‘at less than its fair value'. As a result, Gintech Energy would receive preliminary dumping margins of 27.59%, while Motech Industries would receive dumping margins of 44.18%. Motech Industries also has a relatively small module assembly plant in the US.

All other Taiwan-based PV producers would receive dumping margins of 35.89%.

The next step is for DOC to instruct US Customs and Border Protection to require cash deposits based on the preliminary rates as adjusted for export and domestic subsidies found in the companion countervailing duty (CVD) investigation.

Taiwan producer’s response

As a result of the DOC investigation, a number of Taiwanese producers have issued statements in response to the preliminary duties, including Gintech Energy and Motech Industries.

Solar cell and module manufacturer, Gintech Energy noted that it had been imposed with the lowest dumping margins, compared to its Taiwan peers. The company revealed that it was already actively engaged in seeking greater geographical market mix to limit the impact on sales from the ruling.

The company claimed that previous product shipments would not impact the company as customers would absorb retrospective duties.

Gintech Energy also said that it would co-operate fully with the US in respect to forthcoming spot checks and documentation ongoing in respect to any anti-dumping information. 

Motech Industries acknowledged it would be liable to dumping margins of 44.18% and its China subsidiary, Motech (Suzhou) Renewable Energy would incur penalties of 42.33%.

Like Gintech Energy, Motech Industries noted that it had already been diversifying into other markets to limit the risk from the DOC investigation and said that there would be “no significant impact on [the] Company’s financial operations”.

Motech Industries said that revenue in 2013 attributed to business in the US totalled NT$2.27 billion (US$75.7 million). However, revenue from the US in the first-half of 2014 had only totalled (US$9 million), or 10.6% and 2.4% of total consolidated revenues, respectively.

The company also said that it would co-operate with US officials in the hope of “fair and reasonable final determination while the US conducts an on-site verification in Taiwan”.

The world's largest merchant solar cell producer, Neo Solar Power (NSP) responded by acknowledging that it would receive preliminary dumping margins of 35.89%.

The company stated that shipment volume to the US in June only accounted for around 12% of revenue for the month and that in the whole of 2013, US shipments accounted for around 6% of total revenue. In the first half of 2014, US shipments accounted for around 11% of revenue.

NSP had recently reported June 2014 revenue of NT$2,208 million, down 15.82% compared to the previous month.

However, despite saying the company was “aggressively seeking orders from other regions,” NSP was considering different supply strategies, which included the “possibility to set up plant overseas to respond the constraints of [the] US market”.

Solar cell producer, E-Ton Solar Technology said its preliminary duty rate was 35.89%, while maintaining that in the first-half of 2014, shipments to the US only accounted for 1.09% of revenue, mitigating any material financial impact on the company. However, in 2013 shipments to the US accounted for 9.59% of annual revenue.

Solar cell producer, Solartech Energy Corp said it would receive preliminary dumping margins of 35.89%. The company noted that it didn’t expect any material impact due to 2013 revenue attributed to the US being only 0.2% and 0.3% in the first-half of 2014.

Despite announcements from many of the Taiwanese producers attempting to profile limited impact of the DOC judgement, Taiwan-based market research firm, EnergyTrend said that producers face serious business challenges.

“The gap between Taiwan’s and China’s tax rates was small, which constrained Taiwan to increase its competiveness. Instead, it’s a frustration to Taiwan’s PV industry as Taiwan will lose many orders transferred from Chinese manufacturers. Overall, it will be a huge challenge to relevant makers in the future,” said Arthur Hsu, research manager of EnergyTrend, a subsidiary of Taiwan-based market intelligence firm TrendForce.

According to Hsu, Taiwan PV manufacturers are unlikely to be able to absorb the AD tariffs simply through adjusting procurement or production processes, especially since many produce high-efficiency solar cells and modules that incur higher production costs than lower-efficiency products from China.

EnergyTrend said that as a result of the DOC ruling Motech Industries could be reconsidering its involvement in module assembly in the US.

“Taiwan’s high-efficiency product development will be closely linked to its future outlook in North America and it becomes crucial for Taiwanese PV companies to accelerate progresses of global deployment to maintain their market share in North America. Among all, Motech, which was imposed the highest tax rates, may reconsider its role in North America,” added Hsu.

2 December 2021
Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition & conference series for the solar industry. As part of this event series, Intersolar India in Mumbai is India’s most pioneering exhibition and conference for India’s solar industry. It takes place annually and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. Since 2019, Intersolar India is held under the umbrella of The smarter E India – India’s innovation hub for the new energy world.
9 December 2021
The Smart Energy Council is hosting Australia’s second Virtual Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition on Thursday, 9 December 2021. This event will show that the industry powers on despite COVID-19 and we are standing together undeterred in spirit. Bringing our global community together using the latest technology.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.
1 February 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.
7 March 2022
Take your chance to join the most powerful platform in the MENA region. Middle East Energy (MEE), Intersolar, and ees, the leading energy exhibitions are joining hands to co-deliver an outstanding renewables and energy storage event at Middle East Energy 2021. Renewables and energy storage at MEE is the largest gathering of solar and renewable energy industry professionals in the Middle East & Africa, offering the most effective trade focused platform to international manufacturers and distributors looking to meet regional buyers.

Read Next

December 1, 2021
Major US bank Wells Fargo has closed its maiden tax equity investment into a colocated solar-storage project currently under construction in New Mexico, US.
PV Tech Premium
December 1, 2021
The price of shipping containers from Asia to Europe and North America remains high but should start to come down in the new year, although the main price drops won’t occur in earnest until 2023 when new capacity is brought online. That additional capacity, however, may be offset by new International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules to address the industry’s emissions
December 1, 2021
Enefit Green, the renewables subsidiary of Estonian state-owned utility Eesti Energia, is looking to procure up to 500MW of solar modules in the next three years.
December 1, 2021
Tech major Amazon has added a further 2GW to its committed utility-scale solar PV capacity, adding projects in the US and Europe to its renewables portfolio.
December 1, 2021
Global solar PV deployment is on track to grow by 17% this year in spite of surging commodity prices increasing manufacturing costs, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
December 1, 2021
The European Commission (EC) has approved the extension of Poland’s auction scheme for renewable resources that is predicted to support the creation of 9GW of renewables after it passed EU state aid rules

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal