Seraphim Solar will establish 500MW of solar cell manufacturing capacity in South Africa. The expansion plans also include facilities for 200MW of half-cut cell module assembly in the country.
The cell plant in the Coega Industrial Development Zone of Port Elizabeth is slated to begin production in Q3 of 2019. It is being pushed through with help from the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC).
In August the firm opened a highly automated 300MW module assembly plant in East London Industrial Development Zone, Eastern Cape.
The firm said I was part of its strategy to “mitigate against unpredictable tariffs levied on Chinese manufacturers”.
“We have continuously received purchase orders for modules from our 300MW factory in South Africa since it reached full production in September; building our own cell plant in South Africa is the ideal way to support our customer base by optimising our production and reducing lead times,” said Polaris Li, president, Seraphim. “We are glad to cooperate again with IDC, a professional and reliable local partner. This new factory will strengthen mutual interests and optimise prosperity for our stakeholders.”
The company plans to send its Chinese technical team to South Africa to commission the new site and oversee the training of a local workforce.
“This plant will be the first of its kind in Africa, and shall be a stepping stone towards the consolidation of a strong vertically-integrated operation that will see additional investments materialising in the near future,” said David Nunez Blundell, co-founder of Seraphim Southern Africa. “Together with the module assembly expansion, it will launch Seraphim into a new stage of evolution, strengthening our value proposition to clients in the South African and exports markets,” he added.