JA Solar in South Africa factory JV

China's JA Solar and plant-builder Powerway have formed a joint venture to open a PV module factory in South Africa.

The two partners plan to build the factory in Port Elizabeth, in another sign of South Africa’s growing status as a renewable energy hotspot.

The plant will have an initial annual production capacity of 150MW and is scheduled to begin output in the second quarter of 2014, supporting more than 200 jobs in its first year.

A statement said the factory could swell to up to 600MW to meet demand growth in South Africa and the wider region.

Baofang Jin, CEO of JA Solar, said: "This facility will play a crucial role, as we seek to benefit from the significant growth potential across the Southern African region. Improved cost-effectiveness is making solar an increasingly attractive energy alternative in South Africa.

“Having a presence on the ground will give us the local knowledge and qualification needed to identify and pursuit the best commercial opportunities while providing better services to our customers.”