Trina Solar signs major wafer and glass supply deals as Vertex production ramps

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Trina has secured the glass from Almaden at a price of RMB24/m2, far cheaper than current market prices. Image: Trina Solar.

Trina Solar has signed major wafer and solar-grade glass supply deals as it continues to ramp production of its new Vertex series of panels.

In deals confirmed today, Trina Solar has signed a contract with Wuxi Shangji CNC for the supply of more than 2 billion wafers between 2021 and 2025. In each of the next five years Trina is to purchase no less than 4GW of wafers, with the contract’s total wafer capacity amounting to 20GW, or 2 billion pieces.

As it stands all wafers supplied are to be 210mm – the size of wafer used within Trina’s Vertex series – however the contract does stipulate the size of wafer can be adjusted according to market demand.

The purchase price is to be negotiated on a monthly basis, however citing analysis by PV InfoLink, Trina placed the estimated purchase amount at just over RMB2 billion (US$305 million) per year.

Meanwhile, Trina has turned to Chinese glass provider Almaden for a major photovoltaic glass contract that will span over the next two years.

Under the terms of the deal, Trina will pay around RMB2.1 billion (US$320 million) for 85 million square metres of PV glass, to be used mainly in the production of the manufacturer’s new Vertex series of high-power module products.

That price equates to around RMB24.7 per square metre, meaning Trina has been able to lock in solar-grade glass supply at prices not seen since early September, according to PV Tech analysis. Solar glass demand is strongly outstripping supply currently, leading to prices deemed “out of control” by module manufacturers earlier this month.

Chen Ye, assistant VP for purchasing supply chain management at Trina Solar, said: “We are very pleased to sign this procurement contract when photovoltaic glass is in such high demand.”

Trina has lofty ambitions for the Vertex series and intends to reach production capacity of 21GW by 2021 and 31GW by 2022. Trina launched the Vertex series earlier this year, initially with a 550W version with 600W and higher power equivalents also in the pipeline. PV Tech’s product review of the Vertex panel can be read here, while further analysis of the technology that makes up the panel can be found here and details on Trina’s plan to ramp production capacity can be read here.  

Almaden, meanwhile, noted that a further glass furnace is under construction in order to meet accelerated demand for glass and is slated to begin production in the middle of next year.

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