Hanwha Q CELLS, a subsidiary of Hanwha Group, announced to expand its solar cell production capacity by 1.5GW during 2015. The company will invest 350 billion won (approx. US$316 million) in building a new, large scale solar cell manufacturing facility in Jincheon, South Korea. With the expansion, Hanwah Q CELLS’s global cell production capacity will top 5.2GW.
BusinessKorea reported the expansion announcement on June 1st. Hanwha Q CELLS merged with Hanwha SolarOne last year, and the new company’s global PV cell production capacity has already reached 3.7GW, making it the world’s largest PV cell manufacturer. The new solar cell manufacturing facility will be Hanwha Q CELLS’ first cell production line in South Korea, where the company makes only PV modules currently.
Along with the cell expansion, Hanwha Q CELLS will also invest 10 billion won (approx. US$9.02 million) in doubling its existing PV module production capacity up to 500MW in this September. The PV module facility locates in Emuseong.
Such an aggressive capacity expansion can be explained by South Korea’s geographic and trading position in the world, said an analyst at EnergyTrend. On one hand, South Korea is geographically neighboring with China, the world’s largest solar market. On the other hand, South Korean PV products can be shipped to USA tax-free, different from Taiwanese and Chinese products which have been imposed on anti-dumping and/or countervailing duties. The factors offer Hanwha Q CELLS a perfect chance to establish its position in the global market, even in the following years.
Moreover, large-volume contracts are also drivers of the expansion. This April, Hanwha Group and NextEra Energy Resources entered into a 1.5GW PV modules/cells supply agreement. According the BusinessKorea, the Hanwha Group explained, “The one with NextEra is the biggest ever contract in the solar industry. Also, we are expecting to win additional large-scale orders and expand downstream projects, which are to establish and manage solar plants, in the future.”
The newly-merged company aims to have 10% of the global solar market share by 2020, said the new CEO last year at the press conference of merger.
(Photo Credit: Hanwha Q CELLS' facebook page)