Seraphim to open Africa’s first 500 MW PV cell plant

By Andrew Woods
Serpahim has announced the inauguration of a new 500 MW solar cell factory in the Coega Industrial Development Zone of Port Elizabe...

Serpahim has announced the inauguration of a new 500 MW solar cell factory in the Coega Industrial Development Zone of Port Elizabeth, South Africa, along with 200MW half-cell module assembly expansion in Eastern Cape. This new cell factory will be the first in the African continent.

This is another step forward for Seraphim’s goal of expanding global production capacity, previously opening a 300 MW module plant in South Africa this past August. The new expansions will bolster Seraphim’s manufacturing supply chain in South Africa by directly supporting its growing module assembly plant already operating in Eastern Cape since last summer.

The new factory equipment plans are a critical element in Seraphim’s globalization strategy to mitigate against unpredictable tariffs levied on Chinese manufacturers. The new factory and expansion is co-developed by both Seraphim and Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa (IDC), and will begin commercial operation in Q3 2019.

Seraphim have developed expertise in cell manufacturing since opening their first plant in Zhejiang province of China in 2015 and shall support the South African factory by sending their seasoned technical team to South Africa to accelerate construction and commissioning of equipment and to train local employees.

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“We have continuously received purchase orders for modules from our 300MW factory in South Africa since it reached full production in September; building our own cell plant in South Africa is the ideal way to support our customer base by optimizing our production and reducing lead times” commented Polaris Li, President of Seraphim. “We are glad to cooperate again with IDC, a professional and reliable local partner. This new factory will strengthen mutual interests and optimize prosperity for our stakeholders.”

“We are very excited about the opportunities that this new cell factory opens up for our operations in South Africa”, said David Nunez Blundell, co-founder of Seraphim Southern Africa. “This plant will be the first of its kind in Africa, and shall be a stepping stone towards the consolidation of a strong vertically-integrated operation that will see additional investments materializing in the near future. Together with the module assembly expansion, it will launch Seraphim into a new stage of evolution, strengthening our value proposition to clients in the South African and exports markets.”

 

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