Yingli to build solar panel factory in Rayong with Demeter

Yingli to build solar panel factory in Rayong with Demeter

Yingli Green Energy Holding Co, the world’s second-largest solar panel manufacturer, said it will build its first overseas factory in Thailand as it seeks to grow outside China.

The manufacturer formed a joint venture with a unit of Thailand's Demeter Corp to construct the 300-megawatt solar panel plant in Rayong province, Yingli said Tuesday in a statement on its website. The joint venture will invest 689 million baht in the plant.

Yingli is piling into a factory building boom as rivals including Trina Solar Ltd, Hanwha Q Cells Co, and JA Solar Holdings Co. plan to expand manufacturing capacity by almost seven gigawatts this year.

Once the world's biggest solar manufacturer, Yingli has slipped behind Trina and hasn't reported a quarterly profit since 2011. The new plant will help the Baoding, China-based company expand beyond domestic markets.

"Manufacturing PV panels in Thailand will enable the company to operate more competitively in overseas markets as well as in the emerging markets of Southeast Asia," Yingli chairman Liansheng Miaosaid in the statement.

The plant is due to start production in the second half of 2016, making multi-crystalline photovoltaic panels, according to the statement. Yingli will hold a 40% stake in the venture with Demeter.

Mr Miao said the factory may in the future also make components of solar panels.

"We hope to expand the new factory's production capacity across the PV value chain," he said.

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