Wednesday, April 21, 2010

LDK Solar Achieves 2GW of Wafer Production Capacity

by Karl-Erik Stromsta

China’s LDK Solar confirms plans to intensify its efforts to remake itself as a vertically integrated solar company, shunning the advice of investors who believe the firm should slow its feverish expansion.

LDK this week reached an annualized wafer production capacity of 2 gigawatts (GW), solidifying its position as the world’s dominant solar-wafer maker. LDK, which counts Q-Cells, Conergy, Trina and JA Solar among its key customers, intends to swell its wafer production to 2.6GW by the end of 2011.

Its 10.8% slice of the wafer market last year was more than double that of its closest competitor, Norway’s REC Wafer.

“Five years ago we had a dream to become the world’s largest and most economical multi-crystalline wafer manufacturer for the solar industry, and we have done it,” says chief executive Xiaofeng Peng. “I am proud of the way our team has successfully executed one of the most impressive capacity ramps in the sector.”

But LDK is no longer content to dominate the wafer market from its base in Jiangxi province, with plans to become a major player along the entire solar value chain, covering polysilicon, cells and modules.

Its expansion plans are stunning in their ambition. By the end of 2011 it will grow its solar-cell output from nothing to 480 megawatts (MW); its polysilicon output from 6,000 tonnes to 18,000 tonnes; and its module output from 600MW to 2GW.

LDK has also cemented a strategy to become a major solar-park developer, with a particular focus on China in the coming years.Vice president Mario Zen says the firm began developing solar arrays in Europe in 2009 “to develop confidence and get our feet wet, in order to be ready for Chinese projects in the future”.

LDK, which has close ties to the Chinese government, intends to aggressively pursue large-scale solar projects as part of China’s still-hazy Golden Sun subsidy scheme. The government has so far approved 642MW of projects under Golden Sun, with LDK holding concessions for 19MW.

See the original article here

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