Hareon eyes Taiwan cell factory

China’s Hareon Solar is looking into building a 300MW cell factory in Taiwan with local polysilicon maker Mascotte Holdings, as the global PV trade war continues reshaping the industry’s logistical landscape.

Hareon – a fast-growing second-tier Chinese solar manufacturer based near Shanghai – has signed a memorandum of understanding with Mascotte that will see them analyse the feasibility of a joint-venture cell factory as well as the establishment of a fund for financing future PV projects.

Hareon, which relisted on the Shanghai Stock Exchange last year, has aggressively expanded from cells into modules in recent years, and now claims to have 1.5GW of cell and 1GW of module capacity, spread across five factories in China’s Jiangsu and Anhui provinces.

But, perhaps in response to the proliferation of anti-dumping duties, Hareon has also indicated a willingness to expand its manufacturing footprint abroad – including a planned factory in southern Mexico.

With the EU’s decision on whether to ramp anti-dumping duties on Chinese PV kit due within weeks, and US duties already in place, a growing number of Chinese manufacturers are looking into shifting production abroad – and for many Taiwan is the most obvious port of call.

In addition to the proposed cell factory, Hareon and Mascotte are also looking at establishing a fund to jointly invest in and develop solar projects.

Like many of its peers, Hareon has branched out aggressively into downstream project development, including the recent announcement of a nearly 500MW development deal in China.

The company, which has a partnership with US micro-inverter maker SolarBridge Technologies, recently began selling its modules in Australia.

Before pivoting towards the PV sector in 2011 via its acquisition of Taiwanese polysilicon maker Sun Materials, Hong Kong-listed Mascotte's core business was making accessories for cameras and phones.