US First Solar resumes long-delayed $1.2 billion project

13:32 | 21/07/2017
After years of failing looking for suitable investors to take its place and carry out the $1.2-billion project in Ho Chi Minh City, First Solar (US) has decided to resume the solar panel manufacturing project.

The information has been confirmed by the Ho Chi Minh City Export Processing and Industrial Zones Management Authority (HEPZA).

Late last year, in a conference call with investors and industry analysts to discuss the firm’s 2017 operations, chief executive officer Mark Widmar revealed that they could even look to use the plant in Vietnam that was built but has not yet put into operation.

The project was licensed in January 2011 and started construction two months later. At the time, the investor said the facility’s $300-million first phase, with a production capacity equivalent to 250 megawatt per year, would start operations in late 2012.

According to plans, the total investment in the project would eventually reach $1.2 billion. It would be the first solar panel manufacturing facility in Vietnam employing advanced thin-membrane technology.

However, just eight months after the construction was kicked-off, the investor announced the decision to postpone the project.

In 2012, First Solar Group announced plans to sell its factory and leave Vietnam. In February 2012, the American company completed the evaluation and approved a set of initiatives, including increasing manufacturing capacity, primarily intended to adjust its previously planned expansions and global manufacturing footprint.

The US energy group reportedly appointed Cushman & Wakefield Vietnam, a real estate consultancy firm, to sell parts or the whole workshop. However, this still cannot be done due to unfinished legal procedures.

Read in more detail in VIR print to be published on July 21

First Solar comes to light again
First Solar to exit Vietnam



By By Phuong Thu

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