(Yicai Global) Jan. 19 -- Longi Green Energy Technology plans to invest about CNY8 billion (USD1.23 billion) on a 15-gigawatt solar cell project in China to increase its capacity to make high-efficiency monocrystalline cells.
A project firm belonging to the Chinese solar wafer giant will build the new plant, which is expected to start operating next year, in Xixian New Area in Shaanxi province, Longi said in a statement late yesterday after signing a deal with the local government the same day.
The project firm will lease workshops, warehouses and ancillary facilities in the economic development zone; buy, install and debug manufacturing equipment; and manage production and operations once the project is up and running.
Within a year of its launch, the partners will also embark on a 15 GW monocrystalline solar cell module project, Xi’an-based Longi added.
Longi’s monocrystalline silicon wafer production capacity is about half of the global total. The company is also expanding its business to downstream solar cells, solar modules, and even solar power plants.
Longi aims to ensure that its annual output capacity of silicon wafers exceeds 75 GW and that of solar modules tops 30 GW by the end of this year, founder Li Zhenguo said last July.
Hillhouse Capital announced last month that it will pay CNY15.84 billion (USD2.44 billion) for 226 million Longi shares from persons acting in concert with major shareholders of the company, giving it a 6 percent stake.
Shares of Longi [SHA: 601012] closed 0.7 percent lower today at CNY102.50 (USD15.82), after fluctuation earlier in the day. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was off 0.8 percent.
Editor: Peter Thomas