Major polysilicon and merchant cell producer Tongwei Group is to invest in an additional 32GW of solar cell capacity through a RMB12 billion (US$1.9 billion) investment in partnership with the government of Meishan City, in Sichuan Province, China.
The capacity expansion will be conducted in two 16GW phases, Tongwei said, with the company aiming to bring the first phase of the project online by the end of 2023, after which work on the second phase will begin.
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Tongwei said in a stock statement that the new facility will be built on Qinglong Street, Tianfu New District, Meishan in cooperation with the local government.
Tongwei has long held plans to ramp up its cell capacity and at the end of last month, it signed a two-year polysilicon deal with LONGi to supply the module maker with more than 200,000 metric tonnes (MT) of polysilicon.
Last year, it also consolidated an agreement with ‘Solar Module Super League’ (SMSL) member JinkoSolar that saw Tongwei secure extra gigawatts of mono wafers through a supply agreement.
Last month, Tongwei, which has forecasted for a six-fold increase in net profit in Q1 2022, reported that its revenue had increased by more than 50% in 2021 whilst suggesting that tight material supply meant that high prices were here to stay in the short term.
Elsewhere, PV Tech’s head of market research Finlay Colville has mused that Tongwei could become the industry’s leading PV module supplier by 2025 if it pursues a vertically-integrated product strategy that would see it become the sector’s first polysilicon-to-module manufacturing entity.