Update: A significant increase in production capacity of its leading-edge ‘Panda’ technology will help boost Yingli Green’s total PV production capacity pass 1.7GW by mid-2011. Yingli Green is adding 600MW of new capacity in each key area of monocrystalline silicon manufacturing, which includes ingots, wafers, cells and modules at its Baoding, China headquarters. A further 100MW will be added to multicrystalline silicon production, in Haikou, Hainan Province, China. Yingli’s
The initial ‘Panda Module’ employs high-performance cells targeting 18.5% module efficiencies or above on commercial production lines, which are due to be online by the end of this year. Yingli noted ‘robust demand momentum’ for its Panda Modules for the need to significantly add capacity.
“The launching of these new expansion projects marks another key milestone in the rapid growth of Yingli Green Energy,” commented Mr. Liansheng Miao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Yingli Green Energy. “The demand for our 'Yingli Solar' modules continues to grow rapidly in the global market and we are pleased to further expand our capacity to meet the growing market demand and the increasing interest in our 'Yingli Solar' modules.”
Interestingly, Yingli did not state the capital expenditure amount required for these comprehensive and integrated capacity expansion plans, preferring to highlight that the company had more than sufficient funds to execute on the plan. Yingli has received loans of US$ 5 billion from Chinese banks to support long-term growth targets.
According to Finlay Colville, Senior Analyst at Solarbuzz, Yingli’s CapEx for the expansion could well be in the US$500 million range, though he cautioned this was not a bottom-up analysis, since the announcement was so recent.
However, the Yingli expansions raise several other issues that Colville has addressed in a guest blog for PV-Tech.
Another aspect that raises questions is the ability of the equipment suppliers, especially in the wafering and cell aspects of the expansion to meet Yingli’s stated ramp-up time of mid-2011. With unprecedented capacity expansions of PV manufacturing in 2010 and now into 2011 there could be growing backlogs especially in long-lead item equipment such as ingot furnaces and wire saws.