The PV Business Tour China (9-14 April) organised by SolarPlaza turned out to be a huge success for both the international delegates and the Chinese PV companies. The Chinese solar industry is showing an enormous growth rate in both the number of new companies and in production capacity.
Rotterdam, 21 April 2006 -- The PV Business Tour China (9-14 April) organised by SolarPlaza turned out to be a huge success for both the international delegates and the Chinese PV companies. The Chinese solar industry is showing an enormous growth rate in both the number of new companies and in production capacity. The 31 participating international business executives from 9 different countries visited Baoding Yingli Solar, Shangpin Solar and Suntech Power and met with their CEOs and General Management. During the brokerage events in Beijing and Shanghai, the delegates met with high executives of 50 other Chinese PV companies.
Impressive was the presentation by Suntech Power CEO Dr Zhengrong Shi. He told the delegates that, since its IPO last year, the company already has achieved a market cap of more than 5 billion euros and his company has shown 100% growth for several consecutive years.
The factory visit to the vertically integrated Baoding Yingli PV company gave a splendid overview of all their production activities from solar silicon production, wafer manufacturing, cell production to, finally, module production. Boading Yingli Solar is planning an IPO within the next 12 month. This underlines their ambitions to become a global solar industry player. Their goals for production capacity expansion are in the range of 600 MW in all areas within the next years.
Although it has only been one year in full operation, Wuxi Shangpin Solar is heading for rapid growth too. The company plans to double their module production to 30 MW next year and will build their own cell production line this year.
The Chinese PV industry is completely focussed on the export of their products. The domestic Chinese PV market is still very small and grew only by 5% in 2005. However, according to CREIA, annual installations should reach 130 MW/year by 2010. The largest market share is within the rural PV application sector (43%).
The Chinese Renewable Energy Industries Association (CREIA) currently counts more than 200 members.
During the brokerage events it became clear that several Chinese companies have growth ambitions ranging in the order of a hundred to several hundreds of MW production capacity for wafers, cells and/or modules. The business tour emphasised that, in line with other business and industry sectors, the Chinese solar industry will become a leading country in the global market.
Solar wafer and cell production
During a symposium dedicated to solar silicon, wafer and cell production, CEOs and General Managers of major industrial players presented their growth ambitions. Companies such as Trina Solar, Comtec and LDK Solar are developing major expansions in the field of silicon wafer manufacturing. LDK Solar is aiming to achieve a 1000 MW silicon wafer production capacity by 2010. Although it just started with production in February, this company will reach a 75 MW capacity level this year and 200 MW in 2007. The company completely focuses on the production of the worlds most economic solar wafers. In the long-term (2010), this company expects a serious drop (75%) of the wafer price compared to current prices.
Another high flyer is Nanjing CEEG PV-Tech that focuses on solar cell manufacturing. Founder Dr Jianhua Zhoa informed the delegates that his company started their first 32 MW per year production line in June 2005. By March of this year the company had already reached a capacity of 100 MW/year which will be further extended to 600 MW by 2008. Two thirds of the production is in mono-crystalline CZ cells and, due to their continuous research efforts, cell efficiency has already increased from 15% to 16.2%.
Shanghai Comtec Solar Technology is a relatively new player in the field of solar wafer production. The company, however, is planning to expand its current capacity to 1.2 million mono wafers by 2007.
Trina Solar is a typical and vertically integrated PV company with a production capacity of ingot, wafer and module production of 50 MW per year. Cell production with the same capacity is planned for this year. Expanding the production capacity of all these products to 300 MW per year is being foreseen for 2008.
Looking at the position and size of the Chinese companies that took part in the PV tour, now is an ideal time to forge your contacts with these industrial players. Delegates benefited from this event by establishing the first fruitful contacts for further collaboration. They also ensured that the different cultural aspects of this country worked to their advantage with sumptuous and delicious meals. As to be expected, the informal parts of the tour created even stronger bonds between delegates and their Chinese counterparts.
The delegates and the organiser, SolarPlaza, alike have demonstrated that they are very pleased with the results of the Chinese PV tour and, therefore, a repeat event is very likely to take place either this year or the next. The SolarPlaza team is organising a PV business tour to Spain from 17 to 22 September 2006 in the shorter term. Further tours that are being planned for this year are tours to Germany and Italy.
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