Chinese solar modules manufacturers who have moved a part of their production facilities to neighbouring countries may face fresh anti-dumping investigations from the European Union.
Following an application by SolarWorld, the European Commission announced last week that it has initiated anti-dumping investigations into solar PV modules imported into the EU and manufactured in Malaysia and Taiwan.
According to media reports, the investigation is expected to cover only Chinese companies that have manufacturing facilitates in Malaysia and Taiwan. Currently, EU levies anti-dumping duties on solar PV modules manufactured only in China. Manufacturers that set a minimum sale price for the modules, as per EU requirement, are not affected by such duties.
The investigation could be a big blow to the Chinese manufacturers that had shifted production bases out of China. SunPower and Hanwha Q Cells, among others, have operational production facilities in Malaysia. For the moment, the investigation will only look into the import of crystalline silicon modules.
Several Chinese companies have moved to other countries to escape countervailing duties imposed by the EU. Apart from Taiwan and Malaysia, companies have moved to South Korea, Thailand, and even the EU and US. Some of the companies are now also planning to enter India. Over the last few months, the likes of Trina Solar and Zhongli Talesun have started construction of production facilitates for solar PV modules in Thailand.