For GCL, Normal Is Back, with 60 GW Plan

China-based GCL System Integration Technology Co. (GCL SI) which claims to supply 29.1% of total worldwide wafer capacity yield, represents 22.2% silicon market shares has announced  plans to build a new factory in China with an annual solar panel production capacity of 60 GW. The new fab in Hefei province was said to cost an estimated RMB 18 billion ($2.54 billion) to build.

The move is considered a huge effort to catch up by the major, till now considered a specialist in polycrystalline cells and modules. We expect a massive shift to mono production with the new expansion.

The Shenzhen stock exchange listed form has made a filing that the capacity addition will take place in four phases starting with 15 GW from 2020 for an estimated value of RMB 5 billion ($704.7 million). Once this becomes operational, remaining phases will follow with 15 GW each. The entire capacity should enter construction between 2020 to 2023. GCLSI said the Hefei Super Factory will focus on producing modules with 210 mmsilicon wafer technology.

When last reported, CSLSI’s total solar PV module production capacity was  close to 8 GW. With the new capacity addition, the firm would technically be in a position to supply for over 50 percent of global demand, expected  to be at 120-130 GW by 2021.

The GCLSI follows a wave of large expansion plans at other Chinese manufacturers, ranging from Jinko, to Longi , the Tongwei group and more. Even in inverters, Solis Ginlong and Sungrow  are on a massive expansion drives. On paper, post these expansions in capacity in China, there will be very limited requirements for manufacturing elsewhere, although we have seen how government’s worldwide have pushed back by imposing tariffs to protect domestic manufacturing.

JinkoSolar,  with a capacity of 16 GW at the end of 2019 was rated as the current global no.1.

GCLSi, although not very visible in India, has had a strong presence in the country, thanks to its preeminent role as a polycrystalline supplier, which has been favoured in India due to lower costs by developers.

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Prasanna Singh

Prasanna Singh

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

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