Trina Solar is currently one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in Vietnam, and its investments here aim to avoid tensions between Beijing and Washington.
According to Reuters, Chinese solar panel manufacturer Trina Solar is planning to build its third factory in Vietnam. This is a move to promote this business's export segment to the US after this country imposed penalty taxes on Trina Solar products produced in Thailand.
The world's largest solar battery manufacturer by revenue will invest about 400 million USD to build a 25-ha factory. The factory could go into operation in 2025.
Another source also said that Trina Solar has proposed the possibility of increasing the investment amount to 600 million USD. Other information about the project is kept secret. Trina Solar also refused to comment on the above issue.
Trina Solar's investment in Vietnam comes after the US Department of Commerce’s investigation concluded last month that this business was among five Chinese solar companies that used factories in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries to avoid punitive taxes on manufactured panels.
As of now, the tariffs are expected to take effect in mid-2024 and only affect Trina Solar's operations in Thailand. However, Chinese companies establishing manufacturing plants in Southeast Asia to export batteries to the US are still strictly controlled.
According to S&P Global Market Intelligence, the leading manufacturing countries in Southeast Asia account for about 80% of the US solar panel supply, with Vietnam alone contributing about 1/3 of the total solar panel output imported in the first quarter of 2023.
Trina Solar is currently one of the largest solar panel manufacturers in Vietnam.
Currently, Trina Solar has two factories in Vietnam: one factory began producing silicon wafers last month with an expected annual output of 6.5 gigawatts (GW), and another factory produces batteries and solar panels. However, it is unclear what products the new factory will produce. One source said it may focus on solar cell production, while another said silicon wafers.
Sources also said Trina Solar is considering many different industrial parks to build the new factory, and Trina is consulting with feng shui experts to make the final decision.
Another source also mentioned the issue of power supply for Trina Solar's new factory in Vietnam, as the company is considering expansion options amid a heatwave in June that affected hydropower output, Vietnam's second largest power source, leading to temporarily halted production due to power cuts.
Regarding the two Trina Solar factories already in Vietnam, the first is the Trina Solar (Vietnam) solar battery factory in Van Trung Industrial Park, Viet Yen district, Bac Giang province. The total design output of the factory reaches 1 GW, with a total investment capital of 100 million USD, a factory area of 42,000 m2, 14 modern production lines, producing many types of monocrystalline and polycrystalline batteries, and exporting to all continents of the world. The project was completed in January 2017.
The second is the Trina Solar energy development factory in Thai Nguyen, with the goal of producing photovoltaic cells and solar power panels with a capacity of over 256 million products per year. The project has an investment capital of over 4,750 billion VND (equivalent to 203 million USD), using 16.25 ha of land in Yen Binh Industrial Park, Thai Nguyen province.
Trina Solar factory in Thai Nguyen started construction in December 2020 with a production capacity of 3 GW of photovoltaic cells and 4.5 GW of Vertex modules. On May 15, 2021, the factory successfully produced the first batch of Vertex 550 W high-power modules incorporating 210 mm-diameter photovoltaic cells.