JA Solar is expected to put another 3.5GW of cell capacity into operation by the end of June and Hong Kong-based IDG Energy Investment will venture into cell manufacturing by establishing a “foreign invested” project company.

Module manufacturer JA Solar has reached respective cell and module production capacities of 1.5GW and 3.5 GW in Vietnam, the company said in an online shareholder meeting. JA Solar said another 3.5GW of cell capacity should be operational by the end of June. The company also has 1.5GW of cell capacity in Malaysia.

Solar project developer GCL New Energy, which wants to pivot to gas-fired hydrogen production, has secured permission from the majority of holders of US$420 million worth of senior notes to spend US$30 million of the funds raised by the issuance of the investments to a connected company to secure a year’s exclusive supply of Ethiopian natural gas. GCL will pay Poly GCL Petroleum for the fuel to fire hydrogen production at a planned plant in Djibouti, GCL New Energy announced on the Singapore Stock Exchange today. Hong Kong-listed polysilicon-making parent company GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd today said it is exploring the possibility of instead listing on the Chinese mainland.

Workers’ rights

pv magazine’s  UP Initiative has examined what solar and energy storage companies can do to lead by positive example when it comes to workers, often far removed, who are involved in the production of their products and services. Supply chain traceability and polysilicon provenance were among the key topics considered.

Inverter maker Ginlong Technology yesterday announced plans to raise funds by issuing RMB897 million (US$141 million) worth of convertible bonds with a major part of the proceeds to be invested into commercial and industrial (C&I), distributed PV farms. The AA- rated bonds were due to be showcased today for online purchase tomorrow. Ginlong said RMB771 million (US$121 million) of the money raised will be managed by subsidiary the Jinlong Smart Energy Co for C&I projects in several provinces of eastern China with the aim of funding 194MW of generation capacity. The company estimates an internal rate of return of 9.44% for the projects and estimates they will generate RMB89 million (US$14 million) of annual revenue.

Solar wafer manufacturer Shuangliang Eco-Energy yesterday said it had signed sales contract with silicon giant Hoshine for polysilicon manufacturing equipment. The contract features several reduction furnaces for Hoshine’s silicon-based new material industry integration project – a high-purity polysilicon base with an annual production capacity of 200,000 tons located in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. The total contract value is around RMB326 million (US$51.2 million).

Hong Kong-based IDG Energy Investment will venture into solar cell manufacturing by establishing a “foreign invested” project company by the end of June. IDG, which is owned by Hong Kong energy company Titan Gas Technology Holdings Ltd, on Friday announced an investment agreement with public entity Xuzhou National High-tech Industrial Development Zone Management Committee to back the development, which will also concern the manufacture of semiconductor cleaning equipment. The public partner will provide 21,600m2 of land, buildings for staff and other support, with IDG pledging to capitalize a US$30 million project company to construct the production base within two months of the investment agreement taking effect, with production slated to start in the first half of the year.

State-owned power company China Power International Development Ltd has published its, unaudited electricity sales statistics for last year, indicating it sold 49% more solar power in its wholly-owned plants than it had in 2020, up from 4.77TWh to 7.09TWh. That rise was eclipsed in scale by its coal plants, which generated 62.9TWh, up from 54.8TWh; and in terms of growth by its gas-fired facilities, from which the 1.06TWh of electricity sold was almost six times the 187GWh sold in 2020. China Power’s solar power sales by province ranged from 1.74TWh sold in Ningxia and 1.49TWh in Shanxi down to 4.84GWh in Jiangsu and 2.97GWh in Beijing.

Electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer BYD says it more than quadrupled the number of all-electric and hybrid vehicles it manufactured last month, compared with a year earlier. The 91,736 “new energy” vehicles the company made last month included 45,727 battery-powered EVs – up from 15,249 a year earlier; and 45,767 hybrids, up from 6,837 in Jan. last year. Although BYD made fewer electric buses and commercial vehicles than in Jan. 2021, the gas-guzzling SUVs it churned out 17,627 of in the opening month of last year tumbled to just 1,865 a month ago, the company said yesterday.