Leading Chinese solar-cell maker launches RM300m facility in Penang

JA Solar deputy general manager Ong Ken Yong (left) and the head of strategic planning and business development Dr Christoph Flink at the launch of the Penang RM300 million facility. ― Picture by K. E. Ooi
JA Solar deputy general manager Ong Ken Yong (left) and the head of strategic planning and business development Dr Christoph Flink at the launch of the Penang RM300 million facility. ― Picture by K. E. Ooi

GEORGE TOWN, Oct 21 ― One of the world's leading solar cell manufacturer from China, JA Solar, launched its RM300 million manufacturing plant in Penang today.

This is the first factory outside of China for the manufacturer of high-performance solar power products.

“The facility in Bayan Lepas will produce high-efficiency multi-crystalline solar cells for use in PV power generation,” said JA Solar deputy general manager Ong Ken Yong at a media briefing on the launch this morning.

He said the manufacturer decided to invest in Penang because of the strategic location, the good infrastructure, the highly skilled workforce and the support from state and federal authorities.

The solar cell products are primarily targeted for overseas market for residential , commercial and utility-scale power generation, he said.

The products manufactured here will be exported to markets in United States and other emerging markets, he added.

“The Malaysian market currently is still very small but we are committed to product cost-competitive products for the local market,” JA Solar head of strategic planning and business development Dr Christoph Flink said.

The manufacturing facility here will provide up to 700 job opportunities for locals and the facility also has capabilities for further expansion in production capacity.

The facility here will produce 10 per cent of the company's overall output.

Ong said JA Solar Malaysia is fully compliant with local regulations including the necessary business, manufacturing and environmental licenses from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority and the Department of Environment.

The manufacturer started renovation work on an existing facility in Bayan Lepas in May 2015 and is currently undergoing a testing period before manufacturing processes start.

The facility is expected to start manufacturing by the end of this year.

JA Solar, established in 2005 and listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market in 2007, is the second largest solar cells supplier in the world as at the first quarter of 2015.

The company recorded a net revenue of RMB5 billion (RM3 billion) for the first half of this year.

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