Major PV manufacturer Trina Solar raised the stakes in surpassing Yingli Green Energy as global PV market leader with the acquisition of a Chinese PV project developer that planned to start the construction of a 300MW power plant in the third quarter of 2014.
Trina Solar said it had acquired a 90% majority shareholding in Yunnan Metallurgical New Energy Co from Yunnan Metallurgical Group and several related parties.
“We are delighted to partner with Yunnan Metallurgical Group and its two subsidiaries to develop solar power projects,” said Jifan Gao, chairman and chief executive of Trina Solar. “We are committed to supporting the adoption of solar energy and environmental protection in the Yunnan region through our combined strengths. Thanks to our quality manufacturing capabilities and track record in project development coupled with our partners' market position and access to project resources in the region, we look forward to working together to capitalize on new project opportunities to the benefit of all parties. Developing strategic partnerships with select partners demonstrates our flexibility in exploring downstream opportunities in China and will strengthen our leading position in the downstream market.”
Kunming Yeyan New Material Co and Kunming Engineering & Research Institute of Nonferrous Metallurgy Co are the other parties in the deal.
Trina Solar recently noted that total PV module shipments in 2014 would be between 3.6GW and 3.8GW, of which 400MW to 500MW of PV modules will be shipped to its own downstream projects.
The acquisition of a 300MW project, one of the largest in China to date, provides Trina Solar with not only a larger short-term PV project pipeline but the potential to boost overall module shipments through the end of the year.
The company had closed the gap on rival, Yingli Green with both companies guiding the same module shipment range for the year.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed, nor the planned phases or completion dates for the 300MW project. Trina Solar said it had obtained the asset by participating in a bidding process conducted through the Yunnan Public Resource Trading Center's online bidding platform.
According to ROTH Capital Partners equity analyst, Philip Shen Trina Solar could have the 300MW project grid connected as soon as June 2015, while the company would need to post around US$122 million of equity for the project.
The ROTH analyst noted that should Trina Solar retain the project on its balance sheet it would not be recognising PV module revenue for the project.