Swiss solar equipment maker and panel manufacturer Meyer Burger will reach its gigawatt-scale panel production volume in Freiberg, Germany, later than foreseen, blaming global supply chain bottlenecks for the expected delay.

Meyer Burger’s expansion plans are key for an EU strategy to re-shore some 20GW of solar panel manufacturing capacity to Europe by 2025, after the industry on the continent had been pushed out of business a decade earlier by Chinese suppliers that had access to cheap state finance, low costs, economies of scale and at times used dumping practices.

The company now expects a production volume of 320 – 370MW this year, instead of 500MW, after producing 108MW of modules in the first half of 2022, with an additional 210 – 260MW expected in the second half.

That should be sufficient to reach a break-even result for earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda), Meyer Burger said.

After the ramp-up of a first 400MW production line is technically complete, the ramp-up of the announced 1.4GW is expected to start in September, resulting in a production volume of 1.0 – 1.2GW in 2023, instead of the 1.35GW previously envisaged.

Meyer Burger’s reduced volume targets are due to the expectation of lower throughput compared to the nominal capacity of the currently operating line as well as a delayed ramp-up of the production capacities currently under construction and commissioning.

“This reflects ongoing global supply chain constraints, resulting in the delayed arrival of required components needed for the ramp-up of the additional capacities,” the company said in a statement.

“Meyer Burger has so far been able to pass on increased material costs to its customers through sales price increases.

“Despite significantly higher average selling prices than originally expected, Meyer Burger sees such a strong demand for its premium solar modules in Europe and the USA that it needs to allocate its limited production volume to customers.”

Also, instead of selling up to 30% of its panels in the utility-scale segment, the company now expects to allocate the expected sales volume for next year almost entirely in the growing and high-margin residential rooftop segment.

Meyer Burger said it continues to pursue plans to expand its manufacturing capacity beyond 1.4GW, and intends to enter the large-scale utility segment as an additional pillar. The company had earlier announced plans to reach 5GW in panel making capacity.