22 March 2011

CdTe PV firm First Solar breaks ground on Vietnam factory

First Solar Inc, which makes thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules based on cadmium telluride (CdTe) as well as providing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services, has officially broken ground on its four-line photovoltaic module manufacturing plant in the Dong Nam Industrial Park (a 342 hectare business development zone about 25km north of Ho Chi Minh City) in a ceremony attended by Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh.

The $300m plant is due to begin commercial production in second-half 2012 and employ about 600 associates. Up to 2000 people will be involved in the construction. The plant will produce more than 250MW of modules per year from the four manufacturing lines, with the flexibility for future expansion. First Solar also plans to install 3MW of modules on the factory’s roof.

“Our Dong Nam factory will play a key role in our plan to nearly double First Solar’s capacity by 2012 and further reduce the cost of solar electricity,” says president Bruce Sohn. “We look forward to working closely with the Vietnamese authorities in the months and years to come.”

The factory will use First Solar’s continuous manufacturing process, which transforms a sheet of glass into a complete solar module in less than 2.5 hours, contributing to what is claimed to be the industry-leading energy payback time and low carbon footprint of First Solar’s thin-film modules.

The factory also will include a recycling plant, which First Solar says is a key feature of its commitment to cradle-to-cradle life-cycle management and extended producer responsibility. The process currently recovers up to 90% of a module’s semiconductor materials and glass, by weight, for use in new solar modules and glass products.

All of First Solar’s factories worldwide are certified under the ISO14001 system for environmental standards, ISO9001 for quality, and OHSAS 18001 for occupational safety and health.

See related items:

First Solar’s second German factory to start production ahead of schedule in June

Tags: First Solar Thin-film photovoltaic CdTe

Visit: www.firstsolar.com

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