JA Solar eyes overseas factories

Chinese PV manufacturer JA Solar said it will look at opening factories in North America and Southeast Asia, as it raised its full-year shipment guidance.

JA Solar's net revenue rose 52.9% on the year to 2.4bn yuan ($390.4m) in the second quarter, as it shipped 681.8MW of PV cells and modules, up 47% from the same period a year earlier.

Net income reached 40.1m yuan in the three months to 30 June, 2014, from a net loss of 132.4m yuan during the same period a year earlier.

The Shanghai-based company recorded an operating profit of 89.7m yuan, from an operating loss of 33.3m yuan in the second quarter of 2013.

It shipped 445.8MW of solar panels, up 75.6% on the year, as well as 236MW of PV cells.

Average selling prices (ASPs) for its PV modules stood at $0.58 in China and roughly $0.68 in Japan.

JA Solar chairman and chief executive Baofang Jin merely described the results as “satisfactory.” But he hailed the company’s emergence as a key global module supplier, as solar panels have surpassed PV cells as the company’s primary revenue stream.

"Our geographic mix in modules remains very favourable – a result of our determination to focus on the countries with the best growth and pricing prospects,” Jin said in an online statement.

JA Solar president Jian Xie also revealed plans this week to build new factories in North America and Southeast Asia at some point in 2015.

Asia ex-China was the company's main market in the second quarter, with the region accounting for 47.1% of its shipments, primarily due to strong demand in Japan.

China accounted for 26% of its second-quarter shipments, down from 37.8% a year earlier. However, Jin said that the company expects “better demand in China” in the second half, “as both utility-scale and distributed-generation projects start construction.”

Europe and the Americas accounted for 13.9% and 11.2% of its deliveries, respectively. “This favorable geographic exposure is the result of strategic decisions we made in the past several quarters,” Jin said, noting that the company is still expanding its downstream operations.

Nasdaq-listed JA Solar expects to deliver 730MW to 760MW of PV cells and modules in the third quarter.

It raised its full-year shipment forecast to between 2.9GW and 3.1GW, from 2.7GW to 2.9GW, with its downstream projects expected to account for roughly 200MW of its total deliveries.

In addition, the company reported that it expanded its annual wafer manufacturing capacity to 1GW in the second quarter. Its yearly PV cell production capacity has reached 2.8GW, while its annual solar module manufacturing capacity has risen by roughly 1GW since the end of 2013 to 2.8GW.

In June, JA Solar started mass producing its next-generation PERCIUM cells. It plans to run four fabrication lines by the end of this year and eight by the end of 2015.