Slim information was revealed about Hanwha Q Cells’ plans for a new factory in northern Georgia on the company’s Q2 2018 results call. However, Hanwha Q Cells has narrowed the timeline for getting the factory going, stating that it expects to complete ramping of the 1.6 GW facility in the first quarter of 2019.
Hanwha declined to answer other questions about the factory. Company officials dodged a question about what products it will make, noting that a separate subsidiary, Hanwha Q Cells Korea, will own this factory.
Hanwha has previously stated that it will make PERC modules for the rooftop and ground-mounted segments, but the lack of other details means that far less information has been available about the project than for JinkoSolar’s Florida factory or any of the other large manufacturing facilities planned for the United States – despite the fact that Hanwha’s factory will be the largest.
The move to build this massive factory comes as Hanwha Q Cells is intensifying its presence in the U.S. market. The company estimates that 40% of its shipments in Q2 were into Europe and the United States, and it expects more than half of its shipments to go into these markets in the second half of this year.
And at least until its new factory is opened, Hanwha Q Cells states that it will focus on expanding its footprint into the U.S. residential segment with mono-PERC half-cell products, given that the Section 201 tariffs are expected to have a lesser impact on residential demand.
The company’s other progress was overshadowed by its consideration of an offer to go private, which was announced earlier this month. And if this was little information on the progress of a pending factory for a quarterly results call, it was still more than Jinko offered in its results call, which also took place this morning. The Chinese PV maker declined to even mention the factory it is currently building in Jacksonville, except to respond to a question about relative costs.
Correction: This article was corrected on August 13 at 10:43 AM EST. Due to our confusion over statements in the results call, a previous version of the article stated that the factory would be owned by a third party, but instead it will be owned by a separate subsidiary of Hanwha Q Cells. We regret the error.