CSUN eyes SA, Brazil for new plants

CSUN is looking to open additional factories in South Africa and Brazil, the Chinese PV manufacturer tells Recharge.

The move would further solidify the Nanjing-based company’s spot at the forefront of a small but growing cadre of Chinese solar manufacturers breaking ground at factories outside of China – in some cases to avail themselves of markets with local-content restrictions in place, and in others simply to be closer to core or emerging markets.

Andrea Bodenhagen, CSUN’s marketing director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, says Turkey is only the first step in the planned internationalisation of the Nanjing-based company’s manufacturing footprint.

“We plan to expand beyond Turkey,” Bodenhagen says, adding that South Africa and Brazil are the likely first ports of call.

“The reason for South Africa is obviously the local-content regulations there,” she says, adding, however, that “the biggest difficulty with South Africa is judging the right time to invest”.

“We are discussing plans with a potential local partner.” Similar discussions are underway in Brazil, she adds.

Earlier this week Nanjing-based CSUN began shipping modules from its new factory in Turkey, which will boast 300MW of capacity for modules and 100MW for cells when it is finished ramping up.

CSUN made the investment decision for the Turkey plant before there was any hint of the anti-dumping row in Europe. 

However, the move would give the company an advantage over many of its China-based competitors in the event that tariffs are finalised – and it is racing to ramp up the Turkey factory in response.