Yingli Solar defaults on bonds as search for finance goes on

China’s Yingli Solar confirmed it today defaulted on a repayment deadline on 1.7bn yuan ($261m) of bonds, marking another unwelcome milestone for the troubled PV equipment group.

Yingli said “to its knowledge” the bondholders or other creditors have not taken any immediate action against its subsidiary Baoding Tianwei Yingli New Energy, which owes the money.

Yingli admitted that the default was on the still on the cards yesterday when it posted a net loss of 5.6bn yuan ($865m) for 2015, after flagging it up in earlier announcements.

The company reiterated today that it is still talking to the bondholders about an extension to the payment deadlines and seeking potential new investors or sources of finance.

Chief executive Liansheng Miao yesterday told financial analysts he is still confident of securing Yingli's finances as well as making operational progress.

Yingli – until just a few years ago the world’s largest PV module supplier by volume – first missed a payment deadline last year, and since then has sent investors into panic mode with warnings about its ability to remain solvent.

It has several times been tipped to receive significant new finance from Chinese state-backed banks, but this has so far apparently not materialised.

The company expects to ship between 2.6GW and 3GW in 2016, up from 2.36GW in 2015 but dwarfed by the up to 6.5GW expected this year to leave the factories of Trina Solar – which as recently as 2013 was neck-and-neck with Yingli as global market-leader.

Yingli has not made a profit since 2010, but has seen most of its major rivals in the PV sector long since return to the black.