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FIRST SOLAR RESUMES SOLAR PANEL PROJECT IN VIETNAM

2017-11-30 11:19:14

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FIRST SOLAR RESUMES SOLAR PANEL PROJECT IN VIETNAM

 

HCMC – The U.S.-based First Solar Group has resumed its solar panel production project at Dong Nam Industrial Zone in HCMC’s outlying district of Cu Chi, years after halting project and seeking to liquidate its facilities there.

 

The investor also has plans to boost the production scale in Vietnam compared to its initial plan to meet the increasing demand for thin-film solar power panels of customers in the word, said a source from the HCMC Export Processing and Industrial Zones Authority (HEPZA).

The project initially required total investment of US$1.2 billion including US$300 million spent on the first phase with annual panel capacity of 250MW. This is the biggest foreign direct investment (FDI) project at processing and industrial zones in the city.

Earlier, First Solar said that the plant would create jobs for around 600 locals after being put into operation and its products would be mainly shipped to the U.S. and Europe.

In an announcement for the project suspension in November 2011, after only eight months of construction, the group said that it shelved the project until market demand increased again. The suspension was attributed to the supply-demand imbalance in the world’s solar market at the time.

However, in mid-2012, First Solar appointed Cushman & Wakefield Vietnam to find buyers for the 113,000 square meters of manufacturing facility at Dong Nam Industrial Park built by German contractor M+W Group.

The manufacturing facility comprises 107,000 square meters of industrial space divided into two production areas, a large logistics area and an external office building of 6,000 square meters. The facility is located on a 23-hectare plot with additional 21 hectares set aside for future expansion, with available water and power supply for large-scale production.

Many other investors have showed their keen interest in taking over the manufacturing facility of the plant. However, they faced complex procedures and a requirement by HEPZA that the new investors had to take over the entire hi-tech project.

An investor, the HEPZA source said, finally inched close to the takeover, but First Solar backed off from the liquidation scheme, and resumed the project. HEPZA said the investor was allowed to continue the project because it had not been recalled by authorities.

Experts considered First Solar as the leading manufacturer of thin-film solar power panels, the main product to compete with Chinese enterprises that mainly produce polycrystalline silicon solar panels.