First Solar Vietnam today held a welcoming ceremony to receive the first equipment for manufacturing its latest, high-technology Series 6 photovoltaic (PV) module. Setting a new industry benchmark for reliability, design and environmental performance, the highly anticipated Series 6 product will debut with an anticipated 445-watt generation capacity and 18 percent conversion efficiency, securing First Solar as the leading PV technology manufacturer globally. Joining First Solar executives and associates to celebrate the ceremony were industry guests including the Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zone Authority, the People’s Committee of Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City and Linh Trung Customs, and the Saigon Vietnam Rubber Group.
The delivery was a primary component for a Vapor Transport Deposition (VTD) coater, the machine that applies semiconductor material to glass. The component arrived in one of the largest of the 10 crates that contained sections of the coater. Once fully assembled, the equipment will be at 60.4m (L) X 10.2m (W) X 5.1m (H) and weighs almost 29 tons.
First Solar Vietnam’s Managing Director, Mr. Chan See Chong emphasized the Dong Nam facility’s role in the company’s future plans. “As First Solar launches its new Series 6 module, we are proud to have the two newest manufacturing facilities here in Vietnam. This demonstrates our company’s confidence that Vietnam will be instrumental in meeting our goals, thanks in part to the local workforce and by working with the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, HEPZA, Customs and Saigon VRG. The arrival of this key piece of equipment here in Dong Nam marks the beginning of a new era for First Solar manufacturing.”
The recent injection of an additional US$360 million capital investment into the construction of the second 1.2GW high-tech factory brought First Solar’s total investment capital in Vietnam to US$830 million. With preliminary module production expected to start in Q4 2018, the two factories will produce 2.4GW of First Solar’s Series 6 modules annually when fully operational.
Mr. Mike Koralewski, Senior Vice President for Global Module Manufacturing expressed the company’s commitment to manufacturing in Vietnam. “First Solar has pulled forward our manufacturing plans for the initial factory and recently committed to a second factory here in Dong Nam. We have strong customer demand for our new Series 6 product and our investment in Vietnam is a critical component of our future success. We have full confidence in our local team’s ability to bring these factories to life and make an immediate contribution as we strive to lead the world’s sustainable energy future.”
Mr. Nguyen Hoang Nang, Chairman of HEPZA commended First Solar’s efforts. “We are looking forward to working closely with First Solar and to the company’s growth in Vietnam. After officially rebuilding in Dong Nam Industrial Park, First Solar project has attracted many potential investors, and satellite projects to the zone. This presents a good sign, not only for local economy but also for the whole industry as well.”
In support of the manufacturing expansion, First Solar Vietnam successfully held the first Vietnam Career Day in Binh Duong earlier this month. A second event is planned for March as the company increases the total number of company associates to 950 in country.