Chinese PV product manufacturer JA Solar announced on November 17 that it has entered an investment framework agreement with Chaoyang Municipal Government and Chaoyang County Government of Liaoning Province. Under the agreement, JA Solar will invest around RMB10 billion to build an “integrated new energy industry base” and several renewable energy projects. The industry base will be located within the vicinity of Chaoyang City.
According to the agreement, the industry base will include a manufacturing operation for high-efficiency modules. Supported by advanced communication and smart manufacturing technologies, the module manufacturing operation will have annual production capacity of 5GW. As for the renewable energy projects, JA Solar will be setting up 2GW of local wind and PV generation capacity. The proposed distribution of the RMB 10 billion investment shows that the renewable energy projects actually account for 9 billion, whereas the industry base accounts for just 1 billion. However, the actual distribution and amount of investment are subject to further revisions.
After the signing of the agreement and obtaining the necessary approval for construction works, JA Solar will begin building the industry base in multiple phases within a period of five years. On the other hand, the local news media that covered this event mentioned that “market demand” will be taken into consideration during the course of development. Likewise, the wind and PV projects, which will be located within the vicinity of Chaoyang City, will be developed in multiple phases after JA Solar has completed the permitting process.
JA Solar stated that the investment framework agreement meets its future strategic needs. The industry base will bring about a significant increase in its production capacity and enhance its competitive advantage with respect to vertical integration. Moreover, the multi-billion investment will contribute to the development of local PV projects that will be larger in scale and support the demonstrations of new modules and related applications. All in all, the deal fits into the business model of “development, hold, and transfer”.
According to the reporting by Yincai Global, the investment framework agreement with Chaoyang is the third major expansion initiative that JA Solar has announced this year. In February, the company confirmed the plan for a further expansion of its production capacity for ingots and mono-Si wafers in Baotu (Inner Mongolia). Then in March, the company presented an updated plan for its manufacturing hub in Qidong Economic Development Zone (Jiangsu). The latter project has been scaled up to have 20GW of production capacity each for cells and modules.