Chinese Module Maker Yingli Solar Seeks A Comeback

Yingli Solar, which was once the largest manufacturer of solar panels in the world and the first Chinese company to sponsor the FIFA World Cup TM, has announced plans to make a serious comeback.

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The Hebei province-based firm, which slipped from a peak turnover of over $2.4 billion in 2011 to less than $650 million by 2018, was declared technically bankrupt in 2018, with a huge debt overhang and falling sales. The deficit attributable to shareholders of Yingli Green Energy amounted to US$ 1.9 billion in 2018, while its deficit in working capital amounted to US$1.7 billion. This, while not counting multiple bank loans where the firm had defaulted.

Yingli Green Energy, the holding company that was listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), was liquidated, unable to repay long-term debt owed to Yingli China.

Now, in April 2021, the restructured company’s first general meeting of shareholders and directors was held, and a new board of directors and management team was announced and approved. As a sign of the company’s change in direction, its debt-to-asset ratio has dropped to 59.26%. This ratio will continue to decline, as new capital injections are expected.

The debt with financial creditors has been converted entirely into equity. The local government owned investment platform has contributed US $ 312.8 million. The company has also engaged with strategic investors who are willing to invest US $ 625.6 million.

“After the restructuring, Yingli Solar has become financially healthy again,” said Xulong Yin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, who also added “Even during the most difficult periods of debt, Yingli Solar still maintained high sales volumes, delivered with all the guarantees, and offered an exceptional level of customer service. This is solid proof of the incredible caliber and dedication of the Yingli Solar staff, and we see a bright future for the business.”

In 2020, the firm claims that Yingli Solar has distributed 2 GW of modules around the world and has continued to invest funds in R&D. It has announced  expansion of its cell production capacity to 5 GW and  photovoltaic modules to 10 GW, with a two year plan to take it to 15 GW.

the firm now faces a tough market, where its erstwhile smaller competitors have all grown manifold while it slumped, and the market is back to being volatile, with prices see-sawing. In its second coming, it should be instructive to see how Yingli thrives.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna has been a media professional for over 20 years. He is the Group Editor of Saur Energy International