REC Solar ASA is now planning to expand its PV module manufacturing capacity up to 1,000 MW (1 GW) by the end of 2014, according to recent reports. The European module manufacturer is already running production at full capacity, so given the lack of remaining competitors in Europe, the move certainly makes sense.
In addition to the production increase this year, the company is also planning to expand capacity by a further 300 MW in 2015.
The “module assembly line de-bottlenecking” will be taking place in the first quarter of 2014 at its fabrication facility in Singapore — bringing full-year (2014) PV module capacity up to 940 MW, and a rated capacity of 1 GW.
Øyvind Hasaas, CEO of REC Solar ASA stated: “In order to further capitalize on the improved market conditions and to meet strong demand, we have embarked on an investment programme to increase our module manufacturing capacity to 1.0 GW by Q3 2014. In addition, we are exploring opportunities to further increase our module capacity to 1.3 GW by 2015.”
The company noted in a recent conference call that “the recent Chinese New Year holiday period had limited its ability produce more than 940 MW of modules for 2014.”
PV-Tech provides more:
The de-bottlenecking efforts would mean little additional capital expenditure would be required this year. The balance between ingot/wafer and solar cell capacity would remain roughly in balance with the module expansion plans at the facility, according to the company.
However, the company noted that the 300 MW module capacity expansion would require capital expenditure of between US$25 million to US$30 million only. The company noted that funding the expansion would come from expected cash flows and operating profits. The company was planning to remain debt free during this year.
The company also mentioned that it was expecting demand for its modules to stay strong throughout 2014 — with this view supported by “the recent global market forecast by NPD Solarbuzz that installations could reach 49 GW in 2014, up from around 36 GW in 2013.”
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