Taiwan-based solar cell manufacturer TSEC announced to expand its solar cell production capacity by approximately 500MW. After the expansion, which would be completed in February 2017 to the soonest, TSEC will have a total capacity of 1.5GW, including nearly 30% of high-efficiency products.
“The solar market has experienced a strong fluctuation during the third quarter, while TSEC successfully maintained stable,” stated Ellick K.J. Liao, Chairman & CEO of TSEC. “Solar cells’ prices started to raise entering October and we expect a profitable result for the fourth quarter.”
As for the production capacity, TSEC plans to expand from 1GW to 1.5GW in early 2017, including 450MW of high-efficiency PERC cells. According to EnergyTrend’s data, TSEC will have a product mix comprising 1GW of multi-si cells and 500MW of mono-si cells after the expansion.
TSEC also plans to ramp capacity for solar modules and is currently searching for adequate location for plants.
“We ship about 67% of our solar cells to China, meaning that Taiwan’s solar industry is over-reliant to the Chinese market,” stated Liao. “Consequently, many Taiwanese solar companies suffered from China’s frozen demand in the third quarter.”
He also noted that Taiwan has been too conservative toward solar energy so this country cannot establish a firm local market. Taiwan’s domestic solar demand represent only 3% of all the solar capacity, which push local companies to rely more on China.
Looking forward, Liao claimed that there are still opportunities for Taiwan makers. First, Liao expected the U.S. to reduce anti-dumping duties on Taiwanese solar imports, and the lower duty rates will be helpful for Taiwanese companies to increase their market shares in the U.S. market. Second, the Taiwan administration targets to install 20GW of solar by 2025 in its new industrial policies.
Depending on these opportunities, TSEC plans to establish 1GW of solar module production capacity in 2017.