Trina Solar updates 2015 manufacturing capacity expansion plans

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Updated: Leading PV module manufacturer Trina Solar has revised and updated its integrated manufacturing capacity expansion plans for 2015, which include production outside China for the first time.

Trina Solar said that it expected to reach annualised ingot capacity of 2.8GW by the end of 2015, up from 1.7GW. The major ingot expansion is the first for many years and highlights the need to better balance in-house production as well as provide further cost reduction strategies and improved wafer quality. 

As part of the major ingot capacity expansion, Trina Solar is increasing wafer capacity to around 2.3GW, up from 2.2GW at the end of 2014. The company had not previously said that ingot production would be expanded in 2014, which stood at 1.7GW at the begining of 2014.

Solar cell capacity is planned to be expanded to 3.5GW, up from 3GW at the end of 2014. Cell capacity had been expanded by 500MW in 2014. Module production would also be expanded to 4.8GW in 2015, slightly less than previously guided, Trina said.

The company expects total PV module shipments of between 4.4GW and 4.6GW in 2015, indicating it is matching shipment growth guidance with capacity expansion plans.

Overseas production 

However, Trina Solar noted that the addition of 500MW cell capacity and 800MW of module capacity in 2015 would partially come from the low-cost overseas manufacturing facilities, the first time the company has produced cells and modules outside China, 

Trina Solar noted that it is planning to build or jointly build with local partners in select countries outside of China, without providing further details. 

JinkoSolar also recently noted it was expanding capacity outside China to counter US anti-dumping duties and also declined to say which country the production would start in. 

However, in Trina Solar’s presentation slides for its earnings call today, the company noted that it was seeking to expand production overseas in South-East Asia, India and South America to meet growing demand in these regions and to ‘overcome’ US anti-dumping duties.

CapEx for 2015 

In response to a financial analyst, management noted that solar cell equipment upgrades and capacity expansions in cell and module segments would cost between US$250 million to US$300 million in 2015.

However, its asset light focus would mean the company would lease facilities from qualified suppliers for balance of supply requirements.

JinkoSolar is also expanding capacity to meet strong demand expected in 2015, with overall production increasing by 20% to 25%, according to the company, which it expects wafer capacity to reach 2.5GW, solar cell capacity to reach 2.5GW and module capacity to top 4GW by year-end, still slightly behind Trina Solar’s planned 4.8GW. 

JA Solar, JinkoSolar and Trina Solar had the highest module shipment growth figures in 2014, with 105% (guided), 65% and 41.9%, respectively. 

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