Recom’s acquisition of Jabil lines could lead to a U.S. solar factory

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About half a year ago, solar module maker Jabil surprisingly closed its OEM module production in Poland, which was considered one of the most competitive in Europe.

Now a successor has been found. European PV maker Recom has bought the machinery of the Polish factory of Jabil, CEO Hamlet Tunyan told pv magazine. “We started negotiations after the ITC decision on Petition Section 201 in the United States,” he said.

Recom’s expansion strategy envisages a series of measures that the PV manufacturer wants to use to address the restrictions on the U.S. market. “We are expanding our production portfolio to respond to our customers’ needs in both the United States and Europe,” Tunyan said. He declined comment on the financial details of the agreement with Jabil.

“We plan to restart production in the first quarter of 2019 – with the total capacity of 700 MW,” the Recom CEO further explained. In the future, the company plans to produce highly efficient monocrystalline, polycrystalline, bifacial and half-cell modules.

Tunyan stated that where the production equipment from Jabil will be located in the future has not yet been disclosed. However, the modules that will be produced with Jabil’s equipment will be mainly distributed in the solar markets of the United States and Europe, which opens up the possibility of U.S. manufacturing.

The Chinese Government’s decision to reduce its domestic PV expansion by a third this year has had no influence on the decision and business of Recom, Tunyan said. Recom currently has 1.5 GW of annual production capacity, with plants in Italy, France and Asia. In addition, the company is active as an independent electricity provider and has a pipeline of PV projects in the United States, Germany, Hungary, France, Poland and Ukraine.

Jabil decided in February to close its factory in northern Poland. The U.S.-based contract manufacturer explained that “there was not enough current and future demand to secure the sustainable future of Kwidzyn’s solar business.”