On September 22, Chinese integrated PV product manufacturer Tongwei Solar (Tongwei Group) announced that it will set up a PV module manufacturing project with a production capacity of 25GW per year in the Yancheng Economic and Technological Development Zone (China’s Jiangsu Province). The total investment in the fixed assets of the project is estimated around RMB 4 billion. The investment agreement has already been inked between Tongwei and the management authority of the development zone. The project is expected to take 24 months to complete and become operational. This news was first reported by other Chinese media outlets.
With governments worldwide pursuing net-zero emissions, Tongwei is following the demand trends of the PV market and expanding production capacity in the module section of the supply chain. As an integrated manufacturer, Tongwei is able to fully take advantage of its leadership in the production of high-purity polysilicon and high-efficiency PV cells. Hence, its module business is expected to be another very competitive part of its portfolio. Even as Tongwei continues to supply high-quality polysilicon materials and cells to its partners from the upstream part of the supply chain, it plans to compete in the downstream part with modules featuring an excellent C/P ratio. This way, it will able to generate the momentum for long-term growth.
A PV industry cluster has been formed in Yancheng, covering everything including upstream raw materials, cells, modules, module frames, inverters, balance-of-system hardware, soldering ribbons, and smart manufacturing equipment. This well-rounded local supply chain provides the most advantageous conditions for the development of high-efficiency module manufacturing projects. According to Yancheng’s 14th Five-Year Plan, it aims to scale up its local PV industry so as to accommodate 15GW per year of cell production capacity and 100GW per year of module production capacity. The local government is initiating policies to support the growth of this industry, which is expected to worth hundreds of billions in yuan.
Having been involved in the PV industry for many years, Tongwei is now a global leading supplier for polysilicon and cells with respect to production capacity and shipments. In 2016, the company acquired some production capacity for modules. Since then, it has been accumulating its expertise in this section of the supply chain. Therefore, the technological foundation of its module business is solid.
Going forward, Tongwei will keep paying a lot of attention to its module business. It will commit more R&D resources, expand production capacity, and set up sales channels. The 25GW module manufacturing project is thus an indication that the company is further accelerating its pace in growing its presence in the downstream part of the supply chain and responding to the recent trend of “involution” in the PV industry.