The scale of module capacity in Taiwan is always limited due to weak demand from the downstream sectors. But as the new government proposed the plan to achieve 20GW by 2025, manufacturers become optimistic about the future demand. TSEC, Giga Solar, and many other manufacturers teamed up to establish the new PV module company – Hou Gu Photoelectric. They are expected to start the production in 1Q18. The Maximum capacity can reach 2GW.
TSEC re-invested NT$ 1 billion in Hou Gu Photoelectric and is now holding 30% of stake, becoming the largest shareholder. Giga Solar holds 19.9% of stake, while the rest of the stakes are held by other Taiwanese PV and steel mill manufacturers. On April 10th, Ellick K.J Liao, Jimmy Chen, and P.H. Chang, CEO of TSEC, Giga Solar, and Gintech, attended the groundbreaking ceremony in Pingtung with Pan Men-an, Pingtung County Magistrate.
Hou Gu Photoelectric has plants with an area of 14,000 square meters. The first phase of construction is expected to be completed in nine months. They will start the production in 1Q18, with the capacity reaching 550-800MW. All of the factories will be built before 2020. By then, the capacity can reach 2GW, becoming the module maker with the largest capacity scale and highest degree of automation in Taiwan.
Liao indicated that Taiwan will have 2GW of demand every year in average according to the 20GW goal by 2025. Hou Gu Photoelectric will be able to fulfill what Taiwan has always lacked – module capacity in order to supply the local need and stimulate local economic and expand the overseas business. Chang also said that Taiwan has always focused on midstream cell manufacturing and is lack of upstream polysilicon and downstream module capacities. Hou Gu Photoelectric will allow Taiwan to have more complete supply chain in the PV industry.
Chen pointed out that Taiwanese makers usually spend 25-50% more in purchasing modules than Chinese makers due to lower module capacities in Taiwan. Hou Gu Photoelectric will help improve the situation. Chen further indicated that Giga Solar will continue to work on its PV plant business. The annual installation is expected to reach 100MW and 100MW in 2017 and 2018, respectively. They will firstly use their own products for power plants.