Tier-1 PV module manufacturer, REC Solar is planning to spend around US$50 million on production upgrades and expansions in 2015 with an extra 300MW of module assembly capacity via two new lines.
Plans remain in place to take total module production to 1,200MW in 2015, while nameplate module capacity is targeted at 1,300MW, which was said to be completed by the second-half of the year.
Multicystalline silicon module conversion efficiencies reached an average of 17.8% at the end of 2014, up from 17.6% at the end of 2013. The company is targeting average conversion efficiencies of 18% by the end of 2015.
REC Solar had been capacity constrained throughout most of 2014, primarily due to capacity limitations with ingot/wafer production and solar cells as its integrated manufacturing facility in Singapore. Module production capacity in 2014 stood at 954MW.
Therefore the company is also expanding wafer and cell capacity in 2015. Wafer capacity is planned to reach at least 980MW in 2015, while cell capacity will be increased to 810MW.
Despite the mainly module capacity expansions, limited CapEx on wafer and cell expansions does little to ease overall capacity constraints. However, after the acquisition of the company by Chinese firm Bluestar is completed (delayed due to Chinese regulatory issues) the company could be in a position to make a major announcement on significant capacity expansions.
REC Solar is experiencing record levels of demand for its modules, notably in the US and is well positioned to capitalise on the US anti-dumping duties on Chinese and Taiwanese producers.
In the fourth quarter of 2014, REC Solar reported module revenue of US$176.6million, up 18.5% from the previous quarter due to strong sales in Europe and the USA, slightly offset by lower sales to Japan and declining ASP’s.
Module ASP’s were said to have declined by 7.2% compared to the previous quarter, while the sales volume was up 24%. The company was also hit with currency fluctuations.
Total sales were US$180 million in the quarter and US$680.2 million for 2014. Total EBITDA remained consistent at US$16.7 million in the fourth quarter and US$68.9 million for the full year.