Yingli books 59MW, upbeat on China

Market conditions are improving for tier-one Chinese suppliers in their own country, claims Yingli, suggesting that the government’s efforts to squeeze out smaller players is gaining traction.

Yingli chief executive Liangsheng Miao says he has “observed improved price and payment terms” for recently signed orders, which he takes as “evidence of China’s domestic market growing more rational”, including a more “balanced” supply-demand situation.

Miao’s comments came as Yingli announced a 59MW follow-on order from the renewables subsidiary of China Three Gorges Corporation, to be spread across three ground-mount projects in Hebei, Gansu and Inner Mongolia. The modules will be delivered by the end of the year.

Facing withering criticism in the West for allowing a tremendous production overcapacity to build up in the PV industry in recent years, Beijing is employing several tools to winnow the country’s vast solar-manufacturing sector into a short list of national champions.

The provisional resolution to the EU-China solar spat – which places a generous limit on the amount of Chinese PV kit that can be exported into Europe each year – gives Beijing one such avenue, allowing it to block smaller players from accessing what has historically been the most lucrative PV market.

At home, too, Beijing is believed to be leaning on banks and state-owned enterprises to cut off support and end relationships with smaller players, to the benefit of players like Yingli – currently the world’s largest producer of PV modules.

The sheer size and market reach of tier-one players also gives them natural – and increasing – advantages when competing for orders and customer relationships in China and beyond, with China Three Gorges saying it prefers to work with “established, powerful suppliers” like Yingli.

Yingli has delivered more than 100MW to China Three Gorges to date.