Chinese integrated PV product manufacturer JA Solar announced on May 8 that its 3.5GW cell manufacturing project in Vietnam has entered operation and rolled out its first batch of products. JA Solar said that this event signifies that it has established a “closed-loop manufacturing chain” in Vietnam. Basically, most of the key products from wafers to cells to modules are now locally produced.
The total investment in the cell manufacturing project has come to around RMB 1.47 billion. Spanning an area of 110 mu, the project focuses on the manufacturing of large-size, high-efficiency cells. Following the initiation of the project, JA Solar had to overcome numerous challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and related logistical problems during the development period. With the new cell production lines in operation, the efficiency and scale of JA Solar’s overseas operations as whole have been increased further. Moreover, the company will be able to contribute more to the guarantee of stability in the global supply chain for PV products.
JA Solar, in particular, intends to better meet the demand for high-quality products from clients in North America and other overseas markets. At the same time, it wants to expand its brand influence and improve its competitiveness in the global market. Whether the new cell manufacturing project in Vietnam will be able to assist in its efforts remains to be seen, as the US government is now considering levying an anti-dumping duty on PV products imported from Vietnam and several other Southeast Asian countries. The aim of this penalty is to punish integrated Chinese manufacturers for shipping products from Southeast Asia and thereby evading the existing tariffs. However, an argument can be made that much of the production and value generation is happening locally in Southeast Asia instead of China.